The Changing Population of Britain

The population of Britain is neither growing nor declining, but it has changed recently in diverse ways and continues to do so. Marriage has ceased almost entirely to be a necessary prelude to sexual relations. Couples are postponing the birth of their first children. The number of one-parent families is increasing. The population has temporarily stopped ageing. The middle class is growing while traditional working class jobs are declining, though at different rates in different parts of the country. The minority of the population of non-white ethnic origin is still growing, concentrated in particular cities, though its total is also set to stabilize.
This volume of new essays by leading social researchers investigates the origins and effects of these trends and changes, and considers their relevance to the social problems and issues of Britain now and in the 1990s. Their findings, always expressed in non-technical language, are often controversial and surprising. Despite the substantial rise in divorce, marriage remains as popular as ever, though the future of the stable family unit is more in doubt. Despite changes in the law and in social assumptions and attitudes, the equalization of opportunity between men and women appears to be by no means as complete and as rapid as has been supposed.
Taken together, these lively and readable essays provide an unusually clear perspective on British society at the end of the twentieth century.


Joshi, H (1989), ‘The Changing Population of Britain‘, CEPR Press, Paris & London.