Americans increasingly say they don’t plan to have kids — this is the No. 1 reason why

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Child-free American adults are increasingly likely to say that a parent isn’t in the cards for them, a new report says.

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When asked the question, “Thinking about the future, how likely is it that you will someday have children?” 44% of adults under 50 answered either “very unlikely” or “extremely unlikely” without children. pew research center The survey was conducted in October and released in the same month. In a similar 2018 survey, the ratio is higher at 37%.

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The reason provided by the majority (56%) of adults without children who do not plan to have them: they simply do not want children.

Among the remaining respondents who said there was “any other reason”, open-ended responses included medical reasons (19%), economic or financial reasons (17%), no partner (15%), their or their partner’s age ( 10%) were included. ), the state of the world (9%), climate change or the environment (5%), and their partners who do not want children (2%).

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

“Among parents and non-parents, men and women are equally likely to say that they will not have children (or more children) in the future,” the report said. “Perhaps not surprisingly, adults in their 40s are far more likely than younger ones to have children or not likely to have more children in the future.”

Birth rates in the US have declined steadily since the 2008 recession and 2020 birth rates hit another record low, falling 4% from the previous year. Economists told Businesshala in July that economic uncertainty related to the pandemic helped drive the latest decline, and said businesses would need to lean on immigrants for labor should birth rates remain low.

Meanwhile, Marketwatch columnist Mark Hulbert writes that some early indicators suggest the country may indeed be in for a baby boom.

Earlier surveys conducted during the first year of the pandemic found that the public-health and economic crisis had prompted at least some people to re-evaluate their fertility preferences.

One Morning Consult Survey Of the 572 Millennials without children in September 2020, 15% said they were less interested in having children because of the pandemic and 17% said they would further delay having children, while 7% said the pandemic had left them More interest in having children. A top reason cited by millennial non-parents was the cost of raising children—perhaps not surprising given that many millennials have now faced two recessions in their adult lives.

and a Guttmacher Institute Survey In the spring of 2020, more than 2,000 adult women under 50 found that more than four in 10 said the pandemic had made them change their plans for when or how many children to have, a third of the total said That they wanted to become pregnant later or have fewer children because of COVID-19.

“Pandemic-related concerns about finances and job stability, as well as general concern about the future, may change how women feel about having children,” that study said.

Becoming a parent is really expensive: research shows Even women with employer-based health insurance For example, you may pay thousands of rupees out of your own pocket for maternity care. The pandemic has shed a harsh light on many families’ lack of access to affordable child care, as well as a long-standing care-worker shortage that has only worsened.

A nearly $2 trillion climate and social-spending bill backed by President Joe Biden that would create universal preschools and provide four weeks of paid family and medical leave, among other provisions, passed the House on Friday along largely party lines. Gave. It is expected to undergo change in an equally divided Senate, given the particular objections Sen. Joe Manchin, a moderate Democrat from West Virginia, has expressed to the paid-leave proposal.


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