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Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute

Fertility family and households

Since the 1960s, there has been a decline in the level of fertility and dramatic changes in the patterns of family and household formation. These include declines in marriage, increased cohabitation and extra-marital fertility, increased marital instability and the rise of new forms of household living arrangement. Through our projects, research aims to improve the measurement of these changes, to investigate the causes of them, and to identify their implications for policy makers.

Marriage and partnership are a central feature of any demographic system. Opportunities for partnership vary by age and between the sexes, and these can also vary substantially through time. Recent work has measured and analysed the “supply” and relative ages of partners and has come up with findings that are in some respects unexpected. Further work on partnership is planned in the context of the ESRC Centre for Population Change research programme.

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