People more and more say they don’t plan to have youngsters — that is the No. 1 motive why
Childless U.S. adults are increasingly saying that parenting is out of the question for them, a new report said.
When asked, “When you think about the future, how likely is it to have children one day? The Pew Research Center survey was conducted in October and published this month. That proportion has increased from 37% in a similar survey from 2018.
The majority (56%) of adults without children who don’t want to have children justify this with: They just don’t want children.
Among the remaining respondents who said there was “another reason”, the open-ended responses included medical reasons (19%), economic or financial reasons (17%), no partner (15%), their age, or the age of theirs Partners (10%)), the state of the world (9%), climate change or the environment (5%), and their partner who does not want children (2%).
The report analyzed the responses of 3,866 U.S. adults under the age of 50, both parents and non-parents, who participated in Pew’s American Trends Panel survey.
“Among parents and non-parents alike, men and women are equally likely to say that they are unlikely to have children (or more children) in the future,” the report said. “Perhaps unsurprisingly, adults in their 40s are much more likely than younger ones to say that they are unlikely to have children or will have more children in the future.”
Birth rates in the US have steadily declined since the 2008 recession, and the birth rate hit another record low in 2020, declining 4% year over year. Economists told MarketWatch in July that pandemic-induced economic uncertainty likely helped fuel the recent decline, saying businesses would have to rely on immigrants for their workforce if the birth rate remained low.
Meanwhile, MarketWatch columnist Mark Hulbert writes that some leading indicators suggest the country is indeed expecting a baby boom.
Previous surveys, conducted during the first year of the pandemic, found that public health and the economic crisis had caused at least some people to reassess their fertility preferences.
A Morning Consult survey of 572 childless millennials in September 2020 found that 15% said they were less interested in having children because of the pandemic, and 17% said they would delay having children further, while 7% said that the pandemic piqued their interest in having children. One of the main reasons Millennials non-parents cited was the cost of raising children – perhaps unsurprisingly considering that many Millennials have now weathered two recessions in their adult lives.
And a survey by the Guttmacher Institute of more than 2,000 adult women under 50, carried out in the spring of 2020, found that more than four in ten women said the pandemic had led them to change their plans regarding whether or not to have children or how many Change children. the third overall to say he wanted to get pregnant later or have fewer children due to COVID-19.
“Pandemic worries about finances and job stability as well as general unease about the future can change women’s attitudes towards having children,” the study says.
Parenthood is expensive indeed: research shows that even women with employer health insurance can pay thousands of dollars out of pocket for maternity care services, for example. The pandemic has also put the spotlight on many families’ lack of access to affordable childcare, as well as a long-simmering caregiver shortage that has only worsened.
A US $ 2 trillion climate and social spending bill, backed by President Joe Biden – which would include a universal preschool and four weeks of paid family and sick leave – was passed largely according to party lines on Friday. Changes are expected to be made in the evenly-divided Senate, particularly given the objections that Senator Joe Manchin, a moderate Democrat from West Virginia, has raised to the paid vacation motion.