Another aspect of mobility is the way in which some people move in
connection with their jobs. Increased mobility means that people are less
likely to live in the same area throughout their lifetime, and now tend to
live further from their relatives than previously.
However, more than half of adults see their mother at least once a
and 61 per cent of grandparents see their grandchildren
Visits to relatives are most likely at weekends, due to school
and work commitments in the week.
The distance from relatives varies with social class. People in the
professional social class were least likely to have a satisfactory network
divorce and changes in family life
The divorce rate has gone up significantly in the last 30 years (62,857
divorces in 1970, 154,628 in 2001).
The proportion of separated and
divorced people now stands at 10.6 per cent of the population of
England and Wales.
In 1971, 1 per cent of men and 1 per cent of
women were divorced, but by 2000 it was 8 per cent men and
9 per cent women.
Additionally, about 8 per cent of families were
stepfamilies with dependent children
the parents no longer appeared
in statistics as `divorced' because they had married again. Combined
with the rise of cohabitation and the birth of children to never married
mothers, in 2001 the Census showed that 22 per cent of children in
England and Wales live in lone parent families, usually looked after by
their mother. More than 1 in 10 other children live in stepfamilies, mainly
with their mother.
The average age of women at the birth of their first
child has increased by 1
years since 1990 to 27 years in 2000.
The number of single people has risen dramatically because of not
marrying, or marrying later. In 1971, 24 per cent of the male population
were single, in 2000 it was 34 per cent.
Some of this change can be
accounted for by cohabitation but, even taking cohabitation into account,
there is a real rise in the number of single people. In particular, the
number of single men has risen from 3 per cent of households in
1971 to 10 per cent in 2000.
This is due to the later age of marriage,
and the rise in separation and divorce.
The implications of these changes in family life are that very many
families will be involved in visiting absent parents, usually fathers, often
at the weekend. This will inevitably make Sunday church attendance