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Britain in 2009: The annual Social Trends study

来源 作者:Terri Judd 时间:2009-04-16 Tag:society   点击:

 The annual Social Trends study published by the Office for National Statistics presents a revealing portrait of the way we live now.

More three-year-olds than ever are going to school
The age at which youngsters are first sent to school has been dropping for three decades. While only a fifth of three- and four-year-olds were enrolled in nurseries(托儿所) in 1971, that figure has now tripled to 64 per cent.

At the other end of the educational ladder, there has been an even greater increase in students benefiting from higher education, from 621,000 in the 1970s to almost 2.6 million in 2007.

Parents, however, are struggling to keep up with their offspring's educational needs. While 59 per cent of mothers and fathers were confident helping a Year One child with their homework, only 17 per cent could provide any advice by the time their son or daughter was in the last year of school.


More women than ever are making a mark in the workplace
The gap in employment rates between men and women has closed to its smallest on record. While the number of working-age men in employment fell from 92 per cent in 1971 to 79 per cent in 2007, the rate for women went from 56 per cent to 70 per cent. By the end of last year, 16 million men and 13.6 million women had jobs.

Lone mothers with children under five were least likely to be employed – only a third worked, compared to two-thirds of those with partners.

People are working longer, with one-fifth saying they toiled more than 48 hours a week. But industrial relations affected productivity, with more than a million working days lost to labour disputes(劳动纠纷) in 2007.

Two-thirds of teens are now social networkers
Britain is still a nation of couch potatoes( 整天坐着看电视的人) it seems. Both sexes say that watching television is their favourite pastime, while sport and exercise comes fifth for men and 10th for women. Computers have brought the greatest change of the past 10 years – the number of homes with a PC has risen from 29 per cent to 70 per cent. Online networking is most popular among on children – 27 per cent of eight- to 11-year-olds have a web profile, but only 15 per cent of parents do so. By the age of 16, more than two-thirds of teenagers are using sites such as MySpace and Bebo.

Anti-depressants(抗抑郁药) given out at four times the rate of the early 1990s
While Britain has tackled its smoking habit with some success, depression, alcohol and obesity plague us more than ever. In 2007, 34 million anti-depressants pills were prescribed in England, up from nine million in 1991.

The number of smokers has fallen from almost half the population to a fifth in the past three decades. But the number of alcohol-related deaths has more than doubled since 1991.

By 2007, a third of boys and girls were obese. The situation was even worse among adults, with 65 per cent of men and 56 per cent of women above a healthy weight.
The most common sexually transmitted disease is chlamydia, with 200 cases per 100,000. At the end of 2007, an estimated 77,000 people in the UK were living with HIV, with 7,800 new cases that year.

Foreign travel soars with trips to new European nations
Before the economic downturn, Britons took a record 45.4 million holidays abroad, an increase of 56 per cent since 1997. The number of trips to Latvia rose tenfold, while Slovakia and Poland saw 957 per cent and 719 per cent increases, respectively. Spain is still the main destinations for a third of British holidaymakers. But half of those interviewed in 2008 said they were less likely to go abroad this year.

A little over half of us are worried about climate change
Just 53 per cent of people questioned said that climate change concerned them, slightly below the European average. Nevertheless, there have been positive moves to avoid energy wastage.

Over the past decade, the amount of household waste recycled has risen from 8 per cent to 35 per cent. Sixty-six per cent of adults no longer leave televisions on standby and 50 per cent always turn lights off when they leave a room. However, for the first time, the number of two-car households has surpassed the number of families with no car.

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