Within the context of Europe, the United Kingdom has had one of the highest and most consistent total fertility rates over the last twenty years. This paper examines the demographic, policy and cultural dimensions that may form part of the explanation for this relatively high level of fertility. The demographic impetuses identiŽed include the comparatively youthful pattern of childbearing and more importantly the strong adherence to a two-child norm. The paper reviews economic activity patterns, childcare and parental leave provision, attitudes toward mothers working and toward family life more generally, as well as the division of labor in the home. It highlights how in the absence of state support for childcare, families in Britain have reached there own pragmatic solutions to combining work and family life, which has at its core mothers working part-time and the family (including grandparents) being the chief providers of childcare.
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