“Examine the main trends in births and deaths in the United Kingdom since the 1900” (24 mark) Births and deaths are the main aspects that determine a populations overall size. Untill the 1980, big changes had occurred in Britain, as a result of natural change, where tehre were more births than deaths in the UK. By 1801, Britian has a popuatlion of 10. 5 million, a hundered year later in 1901, the population stood at 37 million. It is predicted that by 2031, the popultaion will reach a whooping 71 million. Let us examine the trends that have had an effect on the population growth.
Since the 1900, the birth has declined in number. The UK had a birth rate of 10. 5. in the 20th century, there had been some fluctuations, as three baby boom had been created after the two world wars. During the 19th century, many men had come back from serving in wars, which contributed to the baby boom. Servicemen had come home to start a family with their partners as they had postponed during the war years. the third baby boom occurred in the 60s. The great depression of wars before the 1960s put a strain on people, couples were not able to afford being in a nuclear family.
However in the 1960, couples were thinking postively, the economy grew vigorously til the 1970s. On the other hand the oil crisis in the 1973 ruined the economy for many, which created a fall in birth rate. In the 80s the birth rate increased around 650,000 to 800,000 , followed by a decrease in the 90th from 800,000 around 620. 000 (see figure 2. 3). The factors that determined the prior numbers are several. Firstly, the amount of women of a childbearing age, usually 15-44, and secondly how fertile they are, that is how many children they have.
Since 2001, the total fertilitiy rate has risen. In 2001, the TFR was average out to 1. 63 children perwoman. By 2006 1. 86 children per women had been produced compared to those being produced in the 60s of 2. 95. as you can see, the birth rate and fertility rate demonstrate the fact that women are more childless in contemporary society than in the olden days. Women now choose not to have children as they are more independent, whereas in the past they were financially dependent on their husbands and were also expected to get married.
The changes of womens position, helped women to see other possibiliets in life such as getting a career, being equal with men and give them the right to vote. Also, women had better access to divorce as a result of having independet financial support for themselves. Another aspect that had an impacts on the fall of birth rates is the commotion of children being an expensive asset. In the 90th this was less of an issue as children were regarded as workers, bringing home a decent income to their parents.
However, because of law banning child labour, and the reinforcement of compulsory schooling, put a strain on a familys income. Also, children expect more material conditions for themselves aswell as for school. These factors indicate that partners are less willing to get children because of fear of not having enough money, thus decreasing the birth rate. The fall in death rate was a result of better housing, sanitation as well as immunisation against immunisation agaisnt childhood diseases that were deadly in the past. In the 1900, the death rate was stable at around 600. 00 per year. On the other hand, there has been some steady increase because of the two world wars and the influenzza epidemic, bringing the death rate up to 690. 000 per year. However, after the 1900 the death rate decreased from 1920s, with a slight increase during the 1930s, but while decreased in 1950s slowly (see figure 2. 3. ). The fall of diseases, influenza, ,measels and smallpox because of better antibiotics provided for fight ingections and imporved midwifery. Also, better nutriton, that of mothers were another factor in helping declining the death rate.
The correct amount of vitmins and minerals was crucial for the health and survivial of the embryo. Better knowledge of hygiene, child health and welfare is another factor that helped the death rate to decline. In contrast to the birth rate, sociologist claim that the fall in birth rate is a cause of fall in the mortality rate. However, Bass and Kabir (1978) reject this view. They suggest that the trend to smaller families, where couples stated to produce less babies, begin in urban areas, where the mortality rate was still high, and not in rural areas, where mortality rate first began to fall.
A baby boom followed by a fall in the birth rate leads to a future increase in dependency ratio , that consist of children and a ageing population. This creates a challange for society. A larger dependecny ratio means there is a smaller group of working population. As the working population they are those who support the dependent population by earnings and taxes. This can be a strain on the working population because they need to work more to ‘support’ the elderlys and children.
As they will be working harder, they will be physically and mentally impaired which can lead to an earily retiment. The shortage of workforce in society, creates problems with financing the welfare state. The dependency burden will affect the living conditions of the population as a whole. To deal with these challanges, there has to be some alteration in society. Perhaps, giving those who are about to retire the choice of continuing to work for as long as they want, make some savings in less important areas and lastly, bring in overseas workers.
To conclude, since the 1900, there has been fluctutations in the birth rate and infant death rate, due to some factors such as wars, changes in womens position, better housing and nutriton and also, imunisation in infants. There has been a general decline in death rate, however the birth rate is unstable as every deceade it seems to vary. With the high increase in birth rates, the so called ‘baby booms’ followed by a decliine in the birth rate, a dependency burden has been produced. This creates some challanges which society faces both economically and socially.