Growing number of childless adults in US don’t ever expect to have children

Outbreak of a global pandemic has already caused an ‘express decline’ in fertility rates

Gino Spocchia
Monday 22 November 2021 12:12
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<p>A growing number of childless adults say they are unlikely to have any in future </p>

A growing number of childless adults say they are unlikely to have any in future

A growing number of childless adults in the United States do not expect to ever have children, a study has found.

3,800 adults aged 18 to 49 who responded to Pew Research Center’s study said the state of the world was one of the reasons behind their thinking.

As many as 44 per cent thought having a child was unlikely in the future - seven per cent more than three years ago, in 2018.

56 per cent of currently childless adults told researchers that not wanting children was the main reason. Among those who cited other reasons, 19 per cent cited “medical reasons” and 17 per cent said “financial reasons” were behind their thinking.

Another nine per cent said “the state of the world” and five per cent cited concerns about the changing climate and the environment.

74 per cent aged 18 to 49 who have children told researchers that another baby was unlikely - with 63 per cent against having more children.

Among those who cited other reasons, 29 per cent cited age, 23 per cent cited “medical reasons” and five per cent said the state of the world.

Experts have previously warned that the Covid outbreak would lead to a so-called “baby bust” in the United States and elsewhere, with fertility rates already at historic lows before 2020.

Figures suggest that the United States’s birth rate fell by four per cent in 2020, while a recent report from the Brookings Institution found that Covid could be to blame for a four per cent “express decline” in already falling rates of fertility in the United States.

That amounted to roughly 40,000 so-called “missing births” by December 2020.

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