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44% of childless adults in US don’t expect to ever have kids

The number of American adults who don’t want children appears to be growing. According to a recent survey, 44% of childless Americans between the ages of 18 and 49 say they are unlikely to ever have a child. And that’s whether it’s because of concerns about climate change, financial reasons or simply a lack of desire to become parents.

Conducted by the Pew Research Center, this study is based on the responses of 9,676 American adults aged 18 to 49. It reveals that, among those who do not already have children, 44% believe it is “unlikely” that they ever will. In contrast, 37% held this view in the same survey in 2018.

US adults
44% of childless Americans age 18 to 49 say they are unlikely to ever have a child. Image: Getty Images via ETX Daily Up


If the lack of desire to start a family is roughly the same among men and women, it varies, however, according to age: 85% of people without children who express this view clearly are aged between 40 and 49 years. A percentage that drops to 37% among those under 40 years old.

The reasons for this life choice can be multiple: 19% cite medical reasons, 17% financial reasons, and 15% explain that it’s because they don’t have a partner. Others mention the state of the world (9%) or climate change (5%).

But the most important explanation is perhaps the most obvious one — that these people may simply not want to start a family. This sentiment is also echoed among 63% of those surveyed who already have a child at home but do not want to have any further children.

It remains to be seen whether their status as parents has weighed in the balance, helping them speak more freely and challenge the taboo that persists around publicly declaring that you don’t want to have children. JB


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