Population, households and families | Mannheimer Zentrum für Europäische Sozialforschung

Franz Rothenbacher, Georg Fertig
Population, households and families

Deutschland in Daten online. 2016.

In the last two centuries, the demographic history of Germany has been shaped by three fundamental changes, which – when considered together – have driven us into a completely different world: the escape from the Malthusian Trap, the demographic transition, and the disappearance of many of the social functions of household and family. The first process implies that constant income growth became possible and, unlike before, it was no longer being consumed by a growing population; the second process implies that birth and death rates declined irreversibly; and the third process implies that present-day society is less organized around the union of man and woman, and therefore, the social roles of husband and wife do not determine our lives as comprehensively as before. In this chapter, these three processes will be examined in more detail and the extent to which they manifest themselves in the time series we document here will be presented.