The Changing Dynamics of a British Family

March 22, 2016

At one time, the nuclear family was considered the norm – two parents, usually married, and their 2.4 children living happily together. Nowadays, however, the nuclear family is quite the rarity. Changes in family dynamics over the last 40 years or so have seen an increase in single parents, extended families, and same-sex couples.

The number of marriages taking place in the UK has been steadily increasing again after reaching a low point in 2009; and divorce rates are also decreasing, meaning more people are choosing to stay married. This could be due to the fact that more and more people are waiting until their 30s to get married, perhaps increasing the likelihood of them marrying the ‘right’ person. A recent increase in immigration to the UK has also brought a great deal of diversity, and our population now includes greater numbers of people who place a stronger emphasis on the union of marriage.

Additionally, the legalisation of same-sex marriage on March 29th 2014 has seen more than 15,000 marriages take place so far, with 55% between female couples, and 45% males. As a result of this, the number of civil partnerships is currently in decline.

In modern Britain it is not uncommon for a child to have divorced parents who have met new partners, creating step-parents and extended families, or to be raised by a single parent. It is also not uncommon for children to be raised by same-sex parents.

The infographic below highlights some of the key statistics surrounding the ever-changing dynamics of family life in Great Britain…

The Changing dynamics of a British Family (1)

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