BRITAIN AND THE WORLD FROM 1953

FIFTY YEARS ON

1953

2003

   
Life expectancy was 66 years for men and 71 for women Life expectancy is 75 years for men and 80 for women
Population 53,327,333 Population 58,789,194 - the population has increased by 10.24%
The number of marriages that took place numbered 395,616 The number of marriages that took place numbered 266,100, a fall of nearly a third
Conversely the number of divorces was 28,347 The number of divorces now stands at 156,800
Births measured 15.9 per thousand of population  Births measured 11.4 per thousand of population a marked fall
Deaths measured 11.4 per thousand of population  Deaths measured  11.3 per thousand of population  - at least some things in life are constant  
1 in 20 married couples lived together before marriage 1 in 2 married couples lived together before marriage
1 in 20 children were born out of wedlock 2 in 5 children born to unmarried parents
1 in 10 children under five attended nurseries 9 out of 10 three and four year olds attend pre-school education
220,000 students in higher education 2 million students in higher education
1.5 million people lived alone 7 million people live alone
Unemployment stood at 380,000 The figure now stands at 936,900 but comparison is nigh on impossible as successive governments have "restructured" the figures
RPI Infation rate 2.5% RPI Infation rate 3.1%
Dow Jones Index 290 Dow Jones Index 8851.2
Dollar Pound Exchange Rate $2.80 Dollar Pound Exchange Rate $1.66
The average weekly wage for Mr Average was 9.25. Most of the wage earners were Mister's.. Salaries were more or less unheard of. Basic Income tax was 47.5% and the average working week was 44.95 hours  Monthly salary is much the norm now and averages 465 a week. This is for an average 37.2 hour week.
Real spending power per household (at 2001 prices) 190 Real spending power per household (at 2001 prices) 190
Well over two thirds of the nation rented their homes in 1953 but for those who wanted to buy the average house price was 2,750 With the growth of home ownership the average cost of a house is now 124,752
The Bank of England Base rate 4.00% It's dropped 0.25% to 3.75% in fifty years  
3 million cars and vans on the road but the death toll was 5090 26 million cars and vans. Despite massive increases in road users the death toll now stands at 3450 a fall of a third in fifty years 
Average waist: men 32 inches, women 27 inches Average waist: men 36 inches, women 30 inches
The pound in your pocket. In 1953 it would have bought 16 pints of beer or fifteen portions of fish and chips or 38 loaves or enough stamps to send 80 letters A pound in 2003 would buy you half a pint of beer or a portion of chips or two loaves or three first class stamps
Blackpool won the F.A.Cup at Wembley in 1953 beating Bolton Wanderers 4 - 3 in what has come to be known as the "Matthews Final".   With Wembley Stadium demolished Arsenal beat Southampton 1-0 in Cardiff
Male smokers averaged ten cigarettes a day and women three Despite numerous campaigns, etc the male smoker now averages 15 cigarettes a day and a woman 13
Number of police officers 73248 Number of police officers 131548 (draw your own conclusions)
The Korean war ended in August after two years and seven months. It was estimated that four million civilians and military personnel died in the conflict.. 1078 were British nationals After 41 days the second Gulf War ended with a total of approx. 10,000 deaths. 32 of the casualties were British
With a sale of over 270,000 copies the biggest selling book was "The Kinsey Report" an American book that analysed the sexual behaviour of 18,000 subjects over thirteen years The year's biggest seller will be the latest Harry Potter novel
The rush to bring pictures and films of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II to Australia was responsible for the lowering of the London Sydney air record by three hours and two minutes. A Qantas Empire Airways "Constellation" made the flight to Sydney in 53 hours 28 minutes In 2003 the average flight time from England to Australia is less than half that achieved in 1953

See also the Observer's article published at the same time

Sources

The Guardian - June 2003

This page was last updated on 26/10/09 11:38

Back to Main HomePage