Far More Adults Don’t Want Children Than Previously Thought
The study found that child-free people were just as satisfied with their lives as those with kids.
By JENNIFER WATLING NEAL – ZACHARY NEAL
PUBLISHED JULY 17, 2021
Fertility rates in the United States have plunged to record lows, and this could be related to the fact that more people are choosing not to have children.
But just how many “child-free” adults there are has been tricky for researchers to pin down.
National fertility data provided by the U.S. Census and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lump together all adults who aren’t parents, making it difficult to understand how many people identify as child-free.
As social scientists, we think it’s important to distinguish child-free individuals from those who are childless or not yet parents. People who are child-free make the conscious decision not to have kids. They’re distinct from childless individuals – adults who want children but can’t have them – and from people who plan to have children in the future.
In a recent study of 1,000 people, we found that over 1 in 4 Michigan adults did not want biological or adopted children and were, therefore, child-free.
…Just like everyone else?
In addition to examining how many child-free people there are, we also examined whether child-free people differed from parents, not-yet-parents and childless individuals in life satisfaction, personality or political views.
We found that child-free people were just as satisfied with their lives as others, and there were few personality differences. However, child-free people were more liberal than parents.
Although child-free people were pretty similar to everyone else, we did find that parents were less warm toward child-free people. This finding suggests that child-free individuals (Link): may be stigmatized in the United States.
Our study suggests that the number of people who choose not to have children may be larger than previously thought …
(Link): “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?” – one of the most excellent Christian rebuttals I have seen against the Christian idolatry of marriage and natalism, and in support of adult singleness and celibacy – from CBE’s site