More and more Americans say they’re not planning on having kids – here’s the #1 reason why

U.S. adults without children are more likely to say parenthood isn’t on the cards for them, a new report says.

When asked the question, “Thinking about the future, how likely is it that you will one day have children?”, 44% of childless adults under age 50 answered “not too likely” or “absolutely not.” incapable”, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in October and released this month. That percentage is up from 37% in a similar 2018 survey.

The reason given by the majority (56%) of adults who have no children and do not plan to have them: They simply do not want to have children.

Of the remaining respondents who reported “several other reasons”, open answers included medical reasons (19%), economic or financial reasons (17%), not having a sexual partner ( 15%), their or their partner’s age (10%), world status (9%), climate or environmental change (5%), and their partner’s unwillingness to have children (2%) ).

The report analyzed responses from 3,866 US adults under the age of 50, both parents, who took part in a Pew’s American Trends Panel survey.

“Among parents and non-parents, men and women are both more likely to say they may not have children (or more) in the future,” the report said. “Perhaps it is not surprising that adults in their 40s say they are not likely to have children or have more children in the future than younger adults.”

The US birth rate has been falling steadily since the 2008 recession and the birth rate in 2020 hit another record low, down 4% year-on-year. Economists told MarketWatch in July that pandemic-related economic uncertainty may have helped fuel the latest decline and said businesses will need to rely on migrant workers if the birth rate remains low.

Meanwhile, columnist Mark Hulbert of MarketWatch Write that some early indicators suggest the country might actually be due to the baby boom.

Earlier surveys conducted during the first year of the pandemic showed that the economic and public health crisis had prompted at least some people to reassess their reproductive preferences.

One Morning Counseling Survey Of the 572 millennials who were childless as of September 2020, 15% said they were less interested in having children because of the pandemic and 17% said they would delay having children even further. when 7% said the pandemic made them more interested in having children. A top reason cited by millennials who are not parents is the cost of raising children – perhaps not surprisingly, many millennials have already experienced two recessions in their adult lives.

And a Survey of the Guttmacher . Institute of more than 2,000 adult women under 50 conducted in spring 2020 found that more than four in 10 said the pandemic had caused them to change their plans about when or how many children to have, with 1 Three-thirds overall say they want to get pregnant later or have fewer children because of COVID-19.

Pandemic-related worries about finances and job stability, as well as general insecurity about the future, may alter women’s feelings about having children, the study said.

Parenting is indeed expensive: Research shows including women with employer-based health insurance for example, can pay thousands of dollars out of pocket for maternity care. The pandemic has also illuminated many families’ lack of access to affordable child care, with persistent shortage of caregivers that only got worse.

The roughly $2 trillion climate and social spending bill backed by President Joe Biden – among other provisions, would create universal preschool and provide four weeks of paid leave for home and medical – passed the House on Friday most of the party lines. Changes in the equally divided Senate are expected, especially in light of the objections Sen. Joe Manchin, a moderate Democrat from West Virginia, has expressed with the proposed resignation. have a salary. More and more Americans say they’re not planning on having kids – here’s the #1 reason why


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