'The family' is a subject of enormous academic, political and popular interest. It is a central feature of most people's lives, the framework within which other relationships, activities and events take place. This unique study provides important new insights into the dynamics of Britain's social and economic life - in family structures and relationships; in employment and household incomes; in housing, health and political affiliations. Most previous research has been limited to measuring an individual or family's position only at the time of the interview. This book presents a clearer picture by following the important events in people's lives, such as starting work, getting married, or falling into poverty. It reviews existing findings and presents new analyses of data from the British Household Panel Survey. The same 10,000 adults (in 5,000 households) have been interviewed every year between 1991 and 1997. Seven years in the lives of British families is a collaboration between members of the University of Essex's Institute for Social and Economic Research. Each of the authors is an expert in the field, but the work has been presented in an easy-to-read style to make these important research findings widely accessible. The book will be read by policy makers and all with an interest in the dynamics of modern society, as well as by academic sociologists, economists and demographers.