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Family policy mattersResponding to family change in Europe$
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Linda Hantrais

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9781861344717

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861344717.001.0001

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Family diversification

Family diversification

Chapter:
(p.37) Three Family diversification
Source:
Family policy matters
Author(s):

Linda Hantrais

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781861344717.003.0003

Non-institutionalised family forms have become more widespread. Marriage rates have been falling, age at marriage and childbearing is being postponed, and family and household size has been declining. Divorce rates have been increasing, and unmarried cohabitation has become a widespread living arrangement in some parts of the Union. This chapter analyses the process of family change and its consequences. It defines and conceptualises families from a demographic and international perspective in EU25 member states. The chapter explores the policy debates and challenges socio-demographic change has created for society. It examines the challenges posed by changing patterns of family formation and structure, and reviews the ways in which different societies are reacting to them, as reported in national literature, academic, political, and popular debate.

Keywords:   family, non-institutionalised, marriage, divorce, policy, childbearing

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