Most English families are small, with one or two children. About 80% of families with children are two-parent families and in about 60% of this group, both parents are employed. Single-parent families include families divided by divorce, or never-married women with children.

Modern English society is multicultural. Following the Second World War, many refugees arrived from Europe. In the 1960s, immigrants came from the Caribbean and Asia. Today, immigrants come from around the world. Most settle in large cities.

Multiculturalism and a changing economy are gradually eroding the English class system, although features of the system remain. Once, people were categorized as upper class, which implied inherited titles, lands and social privileges; middle class, including industrialists, professionals, businesspeople and shopowners; and lower class, mostly agricultural, mine and factory workers. The class structure is evident in differences of education, career opportunities and political power among the different groups. Although these differences are fading and movement between groups is possible, the English may still categorize people by their speech, behaviour or lifestyle as belonging to one group or another.

The English prefer to live in houses rather than apartments. Many of the houses in cities are narrow, joined in rows or terraces, with only a small yard in the back. Houses in the countryside or villages may be encircled by a garden. Local governments provide low-cost housing known as "Council housing" for those with restricted incomes. Tenants may eventually buy these houses if they can afford to. Relatives, neighbours and local authorities help older people who want to remain in their own homes. Social-service workers and volunteers called "home help" bring hot meals to housebound elderly people and help them with domestic tasks.

Current government policies are intended to help unemployed single parents and to provide daycare for working parents. The government is also concerned by the fact that the rate of teenage pregnancy in the United Kingdom is the highest in Europe.

England has an extensive network of railways and bus lines and many people rely on public transportation. London has a subway system called the London Underground or "Tube," which serves the capital area and the surrounding suburbs.

   Did you know?
Many important social organizations were founded in England to address problems caused by the Industrial Revolution. The Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) was founded in London in 1844 to help inner-city youth. A similar organization for women, the YWCA, was created in 1855. The Charity Organization Society, the forerunner of today's United Way, was founded in 1869.