Essays Volume 7

IELTS Essays Volume 7 Topic 24: Family Size – causes & effects

As countries have developed there has been a trend towards smaller family sizes.Why does this happen?How does this affect society?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own experience or knowledge.

Write at least 250 words.

Many countries around the world are becoming richer as they develop and at the same time these countries are seeing a reduction in the size of the family unit. This essay will discuss the reasons for this phenomenon and examine some of the possible effects it will have on society.

One of the principal reasons for smaller family units is birth control. As a country develops and becomes richer, birth control becomes more readily available. This may be due to a rise in the number of medical clinics or the distribution of free contraception. The result of this is that people can choose family size. Another important factor is the rise in the levels of education that occur as a country develops, which means that women are more educated and more likely to be working. Consequently, many will want to delay having children and so will likely have fewer in the long-term. 

This can impact on society in a number of ways. One positive effect is that the population will fall, which will likely result in less poverty as there will be less competition for scarce resources. The parents can also provide a better education to their children as it will cost less, which will benefit society as a whole. A possible negative impact is that there will be fewer younger people in the workforce in the future, thus making the sustainability of future economic growth less certain.

In conclusion, family size has fallen due to birth control and education, and this can have positive and negative impacts on society. Regardless of any impacts, this trend is likely to continue as countries around the world develop and become wealthier.

(281 words)


The family size essay is well-organized – the first sentence of the introduction introduces the topic and this is followed by the thesis which clearly states the issues that will be addressed:

  • Why family size decreases
  • How this affects society

Each paragraph then addresses one of these parts in turn.

The first sentences clearly illustrate the topic of each paragraph:

  • One of the principal reasons for smaller family units is…
  • This can impact on society in a number of ways.

The conclusion then repeats the thesis

  • In conclusion, family size has fallen due to birth control and education, and this can impact on debt, access to resources, and economic growth.

The family size essay is well signposted with linking words and phrases to lead the reader through the ideas, giving reasons and results. For example, from body paragraph one:

  • One of the principal reasons
  • This may be due to
  • The result of this is
  • Another important factor is…
  • which means that
  • Consequently,…

All of the content clearly answers the question and the ideas are properly explained so there is no ambiguity.


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