The Real Reason People Are Having Fewer Children

A new study explains why family numbers are decreasing.
PHOTO: istockphoto

The number of people having babies has dropped to a record low in 2018, and the reason is clear—children are expensive.

Tech and media company Morning Consult conducted a survey in the USA on behalf of The New York Times, asking 1,845 adults aged between 20 and 45 why they were having fewer babies. For the people who said they'd decided to have fewer children than their ideal number, the cost was the main reason. In fact, four of the five top factors preventing parents from having more kids were related to money.

A huge 64 percent said that childcare was too expensive. The second leading factor was that 54 percent of parents wanted to have more time with the children they already had, then in third place came worries about the economy which accounted for 49 percent. Not being able to afford more children (44 percent) and waiting for more financial security (43 percent) were the fourth and fifth biggest factors.

Although the findings paint a picture of economic insecurity, it also demonstrates that women are gaining more independence, meaning that childbearing is a choice, rather than a given. For people who either weren't sure about having children or didn't want them at all, having leisure time (36 percent) was the biggest reason, followed by not having met the right partner (34 percent). Not being able to afford childcare came next (31 percent), then not having the desire to have children (30 percent).

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This article originally appeared on HarpersBazaar.com/uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.

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