Leeds has a unique population makeup within England. There is a higher percentage of the population within the 16 - 29 age range than in the country as a whole. Additionally, Leeds has a higher than national average concentration of professionals. As societal norms are changing and marriage and children are being delayed and as more people choose to cohabitate without having children, the needs for housing type and structure should change to meet these needs. This research proposal will investigate the demographic trends experienced in Leeds since 1981 and explore how these changes have impacted the housing market.
The demographic face of Britain, in general, but specifically Leeds has been changing dramatically over the past thirty years. Women, more and more, are waiting longer before considering marriage and instead are concentrating on developing careers and/or pursuing further education. With the changes in this societal trend there are certain to be impacts felt in other areas within our culture. With increased spending ability and more financial independence women have more disposable income available to them, more autonomy and with both of those come increased choices. This research proposal will investigate the demographic trends experienced in Leeds since 1981 and explore how these changes have impacted the housing market.
The current population of Leeds is approximately 715,000 pe...
Of those 369.000 are female whilst the remaining 347,000 are male. Since 1981 the population has decreased slightly down -0.3% (Phillpotts & Cohen, 2004:p. 22). Even with a slightly dwindling population base Leeds is experiencing an upward turn economically. This slight shift in the population has, in part, resulted from the trend of females in delaying marriage and concentrating first on careers and further education. For years the accepted view was that girls would grow up and marry. However, researchers (Bergman, 1986; Flobre, 1994 as cited in Satz) have demonstrated that too often the role of wife and mother kept females from pursuing further education and establishing careers equal to their male counterparts. The traditional family unit, with the majority of domestic duties performed by the female not to mention the childrearing left women vulnerable to their husbands for support as they tended to forgo their own educational and career development to support the family unit within the home. Weitzman (1985 as cited in Satz, 2004) reported "ex-husbands' standard of living was found to have risen by 42% the year after their divorce, while ex-wives' standard of living was reduced by 78%... This huge discrepancy in income and wealth results from a number of factors, including the fact that women usually have lower job qualifications than their husbands and less work experience" (Satz, 2004, screen 1).
Although this marriage at a young age is a viable choice for some women, more frequently the trend has been for females to delay marriage and childrearing in pursuit of their own career and educational development. This trend is seen when examining across time the household makeup within Leeds specifically. Figure 1 below shows that in 1991