The decline in the birth rate, fertility rate and average family size.
Over the last century, the rate of births has been declining in Britain, with 28% per 1000 in 1902 to just 11% in 2007. Also alongside this information is the revelation that households in the UK has almost halved in the last hundred years, from 4.6 to about 2.4 per household in 2007
Decline in average family size:
Compulsory education for children
Since children were no longer allowed to make an income for their families from a young age, they have been forced to go into full time education. Children have therfore been an ecomonice liability and a drain on parents resources as they are required to be supported for a long period of time, often past post-16 education. Today parents are still supporting their children well into their twenties.
Changing role of women
As women are changing in society, they have been given equal rights, this therefore means that women are slightly less inclined to have children, as they want to focus on high flying career. This does not mean that women are utterly ignoring the concept of having children, it's the fact that they have an opportunity to make a lot of money and become a successful individual, without time off looking after children.
Declining death and infant mortality rate
Until the 1940's the absence of a welfare state meant that parents relied on children to look after them in old age, However, although more babies are starting to survive infancy, it is still often uncertain whether they will outlive their parents. Parents therefore had many children as a chance that a couple would become older.A decline in death rates and infant mortality rates means that fewer people die before adulthood and proceed to old age, so parents have fewer children as security measures.
Improved contraception with more availability
Contraception has become more effective,safer and cheaper to use over the last century, and has been changed in society's view from disapproval to acceptance.
Increasing geographical mobility
In modern society, companies require workers to have a general geographical mobility capability. This would definitely attract a smaller family worker, as there is less hassle in moving, as there isn't as many added extras from more children, so it is then easier to pack up and leave
More child centerdness
In society, parents have greater opportunities to be with their children more, this may cause a decline in birth rates, as parwents may not want to spend frequent amounts of time off work. With a greater family, it would also be harder for parents to look after their children whilst trying to earna living.
The strain of parenthood causes greater strain on couples, a life long commitment and a loss of independece and freedom, causing cuts in consumer purchasing for the couples. This means, that in a modern age, when people are defining themselves on consumer spending, couples are more reluctant to have children.