November 22, 2021 – More American adults who don’t yet have children say they don’t plan to have any in the future, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center.
Birth rates fell in the United States during the pandemic, marking a decline for the sixth consecutive year. Fertility rates in the United States were already at an all time high before the pandemic, the center reported.
As part of the survey, non-parents aged 18 to 49 answered the question, “Thinking about the future, how likely are you to have children one day?” “
About 44% said it was “not too likely” or “not at all likely” that they would ever have children, which is an increase of 7 percentage points from the 37% who said the same in a 2018 Pew poll. Additionally, 74% of adults under 50 who are parents said they likely wouldn’t have more children.
In contrast, 26% of adults without children said they were “very likely” to have children, down from 32% in 2018. About 29% said “somewhat likely” at the both this year and in 2018.
Among parents and non-parents, both men and women were equally likely to say that they are unlikely to have children in the future. Adults in their 40s were more likely to say they would not have children.
When asked for a reason, 56% of non-parents said they just don’t want to have children. Adults without children under 40 were more likely to say this than those aged 40 to 49. There were no differences between men and women.
Beyond that, 43% cited reasons such as medical issues, economic or financial concerns, and not having a partner. A smaller number of people cited their age or the age of their partner, “the state of the world”, environmental concerns and climate change.
Parents also cited medical and financial issues as the top reasons they probably wouldn’t have more children. Mothers were more likely to cite medical problems, and fathers were more likely to cite already having children. About 26% of parents under 40 mentioned financial problems.
Survey shows long-term trends in parenthood in the United States, according to The Washington Post. In April, the Census Bureau reported that over the past decade, the U.S. population has grown at the second slowest rate in a 10-year period since the nation’s founding.
Other recent surveys have indicated that the costs of child care, health care and education are reasons for delaying or not having children, the newspaper reported. Global instability, the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change have also led to a change in attitude regarding marriage, children and the priorities of life.
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