Having kids is a really big deal. In fact, it throws your entire comfortable existence upside down – starting with the discomfort that comes with being pregnant.
Parents go from being able to take naps whenever they want, to staying up around the clock. Want to buy a new flat screen TV? You should probably put that money towards your kid’s college education fund instead.
Suddenly you have less time, less money, and you’re getting far less sleep. People will come out of the woodwork to tell you all of the sacrifices are worth it – and as a first-time pregnant lady, I can’t confirm that yet… I can only hope!
Still, child bearing is not a choice for everyone. And these days, people are waiting longer and longer to have kids, and more people than ever are deciding not to have kids at all.
In fact, a recent U.S. population survey revealed a record-breaking portion of American women don’t want to have kids.
It’s not an easy choice to make, there’s always some doubt and trepidation that comes with the decision to remain childless. Perhaps that’s why you clicked to read this article in the first place… do couples who chose not to have kids years ago regret their decision, or embrace it?
Reddit user throwawaygeneral8899, who is in the process of getting married, wanted to know how older generations who decided not to have kids feel about their decision now.
They did so by creating a post titled: “Older couples that decided to not have children …how do you feel about your decision now that years have passed?”
It didn’t take long for the responses to start spilling in. The results may shock you!
According to the 2014 census, 47.6 percent of women aged 15 to 44 had never had children – this is the highest percentage ever recorded.
Furthermore, according to a 2014 Pew Research Center report, 19 percent of women between 40 and 44 years old still do not have children.
“Right now, girls in particular, but girls and boys both, are raised to imagine themselves as parents of children,” Amy Blackstone, a gender sociologist at the University of Maine who specializes in childfree research, told Huff Post.
“But if we more critically thought about the question of whether or not to parent, then everyone would have the opportunity to make the choice that’s right for them.”
Making the decision to not have kids isn’t as cut and dry as many people assume. Blackstone conducted a series of interviews with people who had chosen to live childfree. What she discovered was that it remained an ongoing conversation – not a spontaneous choice.
Blackstone plans to continue her research and hopes that she is able to help shift the ideology surrounding having kids so that childfree people don’t feel the need to defend their decisions.
There are so many personal reasons why people decide against having kids. The responsibility is too much, or they are afraid of being like their parents; they have plenty of nieces and nephews to spoil – no need to take on that financial responsibility themselves; a career is more important, and the list goes on.
In 2015, there were 3,978,497 babies born in the USA. That equals 12.4 births for every 1,000 people in the country and 62.5 births per 1,000 women of child-bearing age (15 to 44 years old).
Some states have much higher birth rates than other states. For instance, in Utah, there were 80.9 births per 1,000 women in the year 2015. Other high birth rate states include Texas, Alaska, Hawaii, Nebraska, South Dakota and Oklahoma.
The state with the lowest birth rate was New Hampshire, coming in at 50.8 births per 1,000 women.
Additional low-birth rate states included Vermont, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, Maine, Oregon, Rhode Island, and the District of Columbia.
The age at which a woman has her first child was different state-by-state.
In California, Washington and Oregon, the age of first-time mothers saw larger increases than states such as Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Ohio, which saw smaller increases.
The all-time high birth count was in 2017 when 4,316,233 babies were born. Since then, the number of births has been on the decline in what experts are calling the “The Baby Bust,” as opposed to the “Baby Boom” that occurred between 1946 and 1964.
Women who do decide to have children are having them older than before. In 2015, the mean age for first-time mothers was 26.4, the highest it’s ever been. Interestingly, in the UK the average age of first-time moms is 28.6 and in Australia it’s 30.1.
h/t: Bored Panda