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Changing Family and Health Demographics

  • By: Carl Haub
  • In: Encyclopedia of Family Health
  • Edited by: Martha Craft-Rosenberg & Shelley-Rae Pehler
  • Subject:Family Health, Family Policy, Family Law

During the latter half of the 20th century, family demographics underwent numerous profound changes, and these changes were global in nature. Given the importance of the family in contemporary society, it is necessary that the potential impact of these changes be understood. In industrialized countries, the one-earner family became the two-earner family, birthrates fell to historically low levels, the proportion of births outside of marriage rose rapidly, and marriage became less common or much delayed. In both industrialized and developing countries, a significant quantitative development was the overall decrease in the birthrate and the consequent shrinking of family size. In developing countries, many countries reacted to rapid population growth by adopting policies to reduce traditionally high birthrates, with significant effects on family formation.

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