According to a new parenting survey from the Pew Research Center, Americans are no longer aspiring to have children, or if they are already parents, they don't want to add more kids to their family.
Of the 3,800 Americans between the ages of 18 to 49 who were asked in the parenting survey, at least 44 percent said they have no plans to have kids by choice. Some of the survey participants said that their choices had been influenced by their medical issues, financial concerns, or the fact that they are still single.
On the other hand, around 74 percent of the respondents who already have kids said they do not want to add more kids to their brood. This number was slightly up from 71 percent in a similar survey in 2018. Most of these parents cited economics and money as the main reason for limiting their family.
A Child-Free Existence
Christine Whelan, money, relationship, and equality expert at the University of Wisconsin, said that the childless trend had been happening for some years before the pandemic. Though the lockdowns ushered a baby boom, the childless trend has been on a steady climb post-pandemic since not many people are keen to raise kids in a world filled with health scares.
Whelan also noted that the data from Pew Research Center highlighted how more and more couples are choosing not to have kids for no reason at all. She said this was not deemed socially acceptable 15 years ago, but the pandemic has turned on a "big switch."
Married couple Clara and Ryan Chapman decided to be "child-free" since they got married. Ryan had a vasectomy as part of their plan. Instead, the couple tends three cats and lives anywhere in their tiny house, including in the middle of the Arizona desert.
Clara told Today that she knew when she got older that she was not the type of person who's "geared towards family." But she did make a promise and commit to being a wife. Clara said that she hopes society will normalize child-free couples since everyone has different expectations for themselves.
Women Drawn to Different Paths
Meanwhile, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that the birth rate in America dipped by 4 percent from 2019 to 2020. This has been the sharpest decline since 1979.
Experts say that it could still be some years before the findings from the latest parenting survey should reveal any significant impact on the birth rate. However, in the last decade, women have been drawn to take different paths and delay motherhood because there are more opportunities to make major changes in their lives, aside from having kids.
More millennial women are also interested in pursuits that allow them to travel, explore, and be creative. Having children during this phase would make their journey a lot more challenging.
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