The Office for National Statistics has just published a review of how UK households have changed over the past 40 years - click here for graphics and here for ONS report.
In terms of changes in household composition between 1971 and 2011, the headline figures are:
- Average household size has fallen from 2.91 to 2.35
- Proportion of one-parent families has increased from 8% to 22%
- A huge decline in marriage - the proportion of women aged 18-49 cohabiting increased from 11% to 34%.
The review also shows a very sharp fall in smoking and heavy drinking over the past four decades. In 1974, 45% of adults smoked, but today only 20% smoke!
In terms of consumer goods and comfort, there have also been huge changes over the past four decades. Only 42% of households had a phone in 1972; this figure is 100% today. 37% of households had central heating in 1972; this figure is 98% today. 66% of households had a washing machine in 1972; the figure is 96% today. In 1984, 9% of households had a computer, whereas today 80% of households have one.