Women’s Lives Have Changed in Four Decades

More UK women attend university than men.

More UK women attend university than men.

In the last 40 years there has been a dramatic change in how women lead their lives and the choices they make.

The 40th annual Social Trends report, published by the Office for National Statistics, released on Friday reported for the first time that more women than men attend university.  This is the first time such a trend has occurred.  The number of women going onto higher education has risen from 33 per cent to 57 per cent. This means that more women are working than four decades ago as well.

Women are attending university in higher numbers in the hopes that an education will increase the possibility of acquiring a lucrative career.  Due to the choices of advancing education and career more women are getting married later in life.  In 1970 the average age of a woman at the time of a first marriage was 22.4, and now it is 29.8.  The average age at first childbirth is 27.5 which was 23.9 forty years ago. 

Because women are having children and returning to their careers, there are more children going into early years education programs.  The number has risen from 21 per cent in 1970 to 63 per cent in 2009.

The report showed that 2.25 million couples now live together without marriage and one half of all babies are born our of wedlock.

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