This paper investigates how the role and resilience of the family in the UK has changed over time, and explores how it is coming under increasing pressure from external demographic and economic forces.
We investigate these effects using a novel approach based on survivorship. We also propose a new way to define ‘family,’ using a framework flexible enough to model a range of family structures and situations: by centring analysis on the ‘focal woman.’
Survivorship is the probability of living to a given age (see section 2 for more detail); we take this data from the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) life tables for England and Wales. These are constructed using mortality data and are available from the mid-nineteenth century onwards.
We construct the joint survivorship of typical families based on the number of births. We also employ novel ‘family accounting’ methods to quantify and analyse the potential overlapping of care responsibilities that face today’s families.
SOURCE: Mayhew, L. and Smith, D. “The 100 year family: Longer lives, fewer children.” International Longevity Centre UK, 07 Feb 2020.
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