With British families riding on the crest of a Royal wave with all the Jubilee celebrations to look forward to this weekend, the head of a leading children's charity head has decided to send us on a journey of nostalgia.

Commenting upon the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, Anne Longfield OBE, Chief Executive of 4Children said: "With the Queen's Diamond Jubilee being warmly celebrated this weekend, we at 4Children believe it's an ideal time to reflect on the past 60 years and how the lives of our children and families have changed - often - but not always for the better.

"After six decades of the Queen's reign, it's clear that the UK has gone through a whole host of changes - both economic and social - from the price of milk, to the cost of housing, our health, and even our children's life expectancy. Indeed, a child born in 2012 is now expected to live for an extra 13 years compared to a child born in 1952.

"While we enjoy ourselves with friends and family, it's right to reflect on the last 60 years and to think about what needs to be done to make life better for Britain's children and families. Because throughout the 60 years, it is our families and children that have always remained at the heart of it."

From 1952, to 2012, our research at 4Children has found a number of changes to have taken place for families and children across the UK:


  • Families owning a car Now: 4/5 Then: 1/5
  • Life expectancy for girls Now: 94 Life expectancy for girls Then: 83
  • Life expectancy for boys Now: 91 Life expectancy for boys Then: 78
  • Alcohol consumption (pure alcohol in litres) Now: 8.5 Then: 3
  • Men who smoked Now: 21% Then: 82%
  • Women who smoked Now: 20% Then: 39%

Marriage and Birth

  • Number of marriages Now: 240,000 Then: 350,000
  • Number of divorces Now: 120,000 Then: 34,000
  • % of live births outside of marriage Now: 46.8% Then: 4.8%
  • Mean age of mother at birth of first child Now: 29.5 Then: 28.1


  • Average UK annual salary Now: £25,543 Then: £100
  • Number of those leaving education with basic qualifications Now: 26m Then: 3.2m
  • % working part time Now: 25% Then: 4%
  • % of mothers working Now: 67% Then: 20%
  • Technology and Pastimes
  • Families with a TV Now: 26.2m Then: 5.7m
  • Number of cars in the UK Now: 31m Then: 2.5m
  • % of those that own their own home Now: 66% Then: 32%
  • Children with online access Now: 85% Then: 0%
  • Children with a mobile phone Now: 90% (50% teenagers have a smart phone with internet access) Then: 0%


  • Average house price Now: £160,417 Then: £1,891
  • Pint of milk costs Now: 50p Then: 4d
  • Mars bars cost Now: 59p Then: 4d
  • TV licence cost Now:£145.50 Then: £3
  • How much was £1 worth Now: £1 Then: 4d
  • Average price of a school meal Now: £2.10 Then: 7d



  • Crimes reported to police Now: 4m Then: 514,000
  • Heroin Now: Banned Class A drug Then: Used by the NHS as medication
  • Prosecutions for cannabis use Now: 158,086 Then: 86

Posted by 05/06/2012 by penny.hosie@pavpub.com