44% Americans don't want children, say the world is too 'bleak'

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Nov 22, 2021, 11:37 AM(IST)

Image representing Non-parents (L) and Parents (R). Parenthood was once seen as the natural progression of life, but now more and more adults are citing a multitude of reasons why they don't want to have kids.  Photograph:( WION Web Team )

Story highlights

More than 50 per cent of these people say they 'just don't want to have children,' while 43 per cent give other reasons, with medical and finances highest at 19 and 17 per cent

The US has experienced the biggest decline in births since 1973, and 44 per cent of American adults say they don't want a child because the future appears bleak.

According to Pew Research Center's survey of almost 4,000 adults, 44 per cent of non-parents between 18 and 49 said they simply do not want children, an increase of seven per cent over 2018 (37 per cent).  

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Parenthood was once seen as the natural progression of life, but now more and more adults are citing a multitude of reasons why they don't want to have kids. 

More than 50 per cent of these people say they 'just don't want to have children,' while 43 per cent give other reasons, with medical and finances highest at 19 and 17 per cent, respectively.

Another 9 per cent of respondents cited the 'state of the world' as too bleak and depressing for them to want children. In addition, 2 per cent of respondents said that their partners didn't want children. 

74 per cent of parents under 50 said they did not plan on having more children in the future. This number, according to the Pew Research Center, has barely changed since 2018. 

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As in the case of non-parents, parents cited the biggest reason for not having more babies simply because they did not want any more. 

The group cited age as the second most important reason. At 23 per cent and 14 per cent, medical and financial reasons also ranked high.

A further 11 per cent said they already had a child, and four per cent believed the world was too bleak.  

Contrary to the stereotype that every woman dreams of a house filled with children, both men and women were equally likely to say they would probably not have children. 

As of 2020, the average US household size is 2.53, down almost 1 since 1960, when it was 3.33 people per household. 

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The coronavirus pandemic has also caused a decline in fertility rates in the US due to public health and economic troubles. The US birthrate dropped by eight per cent in the nine months after COVID-19 was declared a national emergency.

According to the CDC, around 3.6 million babies were born in 2020, a four per cent decline - the largest in over 40 years. Twenty-five states also recorded more deaths than births in 2020.

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