Are large families becoming passe?
My maternal grandmother had 11 kids but my mom had only one (me).
Per a Pew Research study in October 2021, a growing share of Americans without kids say it is unlikely they will ever be parents.
Some 44% of childless Americans ages 18 to 49 say having children is unlikely or definitely not in the cards at all, a sizeable increase from the 37% who said the same just 3 years ago.
Why do nearly half of childless American adults say they aren’t keen on having kids?
Fifty-six percent (56%) of the aforementioned demographic weren’t specific, insisting they simply didn’t want to have kids. Period.
The remaining 43% offered the reasons below:
19% – Medical issues
17% – Money
15% – Lack of a quality partner
10% – One or both partners is deemed too old
9% – State of the world (global warming, environment, etc)
What about Americans who already have kids? Do they want more children these days?
Among parents aged 18-49, a whopping 74% say they are unlikely to have more kids. The response was virtually the same as it was 3 years ago.
In 2018, the average American adult woman had 1.7 children, a sizeable decrease from 7 in 1800. In fact, sans the Baby Boom (when the U.S. fertility rate jumped to 3.62), American women have consistently been having fewer kids over time.
And this phenomenon isn’t limited to the States. Worldwide, the fertility rate has fallen rapidly. In 1950, the average global family had 4.7 kids compared to only 2.4 today. (Source BBC)
And in nowhere is population decline more evident than in some parts of Europe.
On Dec 26, Reuters published Pope says Italy’s plunging birthrate is a ‘tragedy’.
The birthrate in Italy fell for the 12th consecutive time last year and hit its lowest level since the unification of the nation in 1861, per its government office of statistics.
“The demographic winter is a real worry, at least here in Italy,” the pope said in his weekly address in front of St. Peter’s Basilica.
And it appears Germany is facing a population crisis as well.
“The German birth rate is considerably below what’s needed to replace the population. German seniors, meanwhile, are living longer and drawing more on state resources for their pensions and health care,” per the Business Standard in a May 2021 article titled Immigrants are a gift: Germany learns from solution for birth rate crisis.
As a result, Germany is importing immigrants from all over the globe hoping they’ll accept unwanted and unfilled jobs, pay taxes, and support its increasingly aging population.
Is something similar happening in the U.S.? If so, is there a strong backlash?
And are U.S. population demographics determining several of the major issues of the day?
In the last 5 years, there’s been a major push to stifle immigration to the States. Moreover, we’re seeing some pretty strong attempts to restrict or limit abortion and other forms of birth control.
Clearly, some Americans fully understand the changing demographic dynamics and are fearful.
Regardless, the average American family is getting smaller. As a result, topics such as immigration policy, abortion, and contraception will, for better or worse, be issues facing the nation for the better part of this decade.
Please share your thoughts below on Americans’ shifting desires as they relate to parenthood and the dwindling size of the typical nuclear family.