Per a convo on SOH: Thinking about the people you know, does it seem to you that those of the Millennial generation in general are having/wanting less children than their parents and grandparents did? Please comment why you answered as you did.
Millennials aren't as financially well off as Gen x. They aren't as committed either. As shown by many millennials preferring polyamory or simply "playing the field," millennials just aren't ready for kids. Plus we live in a time of extreme feminism and the threat of overpopulation along with the prevalence of birth control. Millennials see no reason for buying a home and having a big family. The American dream has changed
Having less kids is not going to thwart overpopulation. It's just going to change America's demographics, imho:
Oh I realize. I'm also not a millennial
I'm just trying to figure out what has crippled them to the point that they're not willing to grow up--I've read many articles stating this. What is different about this one generation, as opposed to ALL those that have come before? WHY has the American dream changed, and what is the new dream, in your opinion?
They grew up in economic prosperity. They became entitled. They are the generation of everyone gets a trophy. The new American dream is powerful nomadic individualism. Being in a position of power and luxury but never staying still. That's what I see it as being
Thanks, devspi! May I ask what generation you are? I'm a baby boomer. I've said the very same thing here before--the trophy generation, and now they expect everything to be given to them.
I fear that their parents were trying to give them THINGS because they were so busy working they didn't have a lot of time to give them LOVE--and as a result, these kids are looking at what Mommy and Daddy have, which they've built up over 40 years, and expecting to have that themselves, right off the bat--and they're willing to forgo having families to have granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. I've NEVER had those kinds of amenities, even after 35 years! Lol We've made do with what we have.
But my life has been filled with the love of family, and I can't imagine the Millennials going into their retirement years with no children or grandchildren who love them or will take care of them in their old age if need be. It blows my mind!
So you agree with anything I've said?
Too much trouble?
Smacks of responsibility?
EXACTLY, Don! This is what concerns me about the issue!
To each his own.
They seem to not want to spend the time or money on them. God for them really for giving it thoughtful consideration.
Having children means: your life style will change. Many don't want that to happen..
Many are afraid, plain and simple.
It's the hardest job you will ever do...
I'm sure that other generations were afraid and knew it was hard work, but we also still looked forward to having kids. What makes Millennials different, Jazzy, from those of us that are older in this regard?
This is true... we were sent into the world like it or not!
Millennials, (some) are still coddled, they are comfortable just the way they are..
Why have kids.?
I just saw on TV, millennials might like...
You can marry yourself.
It is a movement that started in Canada. You can get a kit...
to do this! I can't stop laughing😂
Yes, I saw that yesterday. I was thinking someone did a poll on it....maybe not. I know I would not be buying a present for a wedding where someone was marrying themselves! SMH That's just RIDICULOUS!
I'll marry Myself. I'm the only person who can deal with my dumbass. 😂😂😂😂
Where do I sign-up?
Lol....well in that case.....
That's what this was about---women that didn't have any man on the horizon. It's supposed to show that they don't need a man, etc.
But really, if you're a feminist and don't need a man, why do you have to prove it to everyone by having a wedding to yourself? Aren't you confident enough in yourself to not have to prove it?
If you want to read about it, google Women who marry themselves. There are articles in Cosmo, Self, ABC, MSN. I refuse to go to them because I'm not gonna give them the satisfaction of the clicks! Lol
There is no man in .my horizon and I'm tired of looking. So I'll marry myself and in lieu of presents, everyone gives me money 😄
Good thing we're not friends IRL, lady! I'm not gonna give you money for marrying yourself! Sorry! 😂😂😂😂😂
Wonder what's in the kit, that guides you. To marry yourself!
How do you divorce yourself?
Who gets the dog!
Lol I don't know anything about a kit. I saw video of one walking down the aisle, by herself....to meet.......no one! Lol
Those are great questions---I would think divorcing yourself and getting rid of one half of yourself would be a lot harder than marrying yourself. Lol Maybe you'd have to develop a split personality to do that!
Joint custody on the dog? Lol
They actually had a ceremony? 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😁😁😁😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂
I'll just say a few a words to myself and demand money 😂😂😊😂😊😂😂
What do they do when it comes to "you may now kiss the bride "
LOL! I guess you go to a
Next, will come a divorce kit, so you can divorce yourself!
Yes, that's the whole purpose--to have a ceremony to prove to all your friends and family that you don't need a man--that you're fine all by yourself. But again, I ask--if you have to prove it, are you REALLY confident that you're ok by yourself?!
They said,One of the reason to marry yourself:
No one measures up, to your standards!
Sounds like the height of narcissism to me! But what else should we expect from the selfie generation!? Lol
I saw a meme yesterday that said that selfie's are called selfies because narcissities is too hard to spell! Lol
LOL! Love it!
Now I wish I'd saved it to do in a poll! Lol Maybe I'll try to find it again!
I'm not a millennial, but chose to not have children.
Kids aren't for everyone.
Sure. I haven't decided if I want kids yet but I'll probably adopt 1-2 if I do. My grandparents had 8 kids on the other hand...I think I'd die!
People are having less kids because it's expensive to raise kids. Some people don't want kids. Kids are a huge commitment. Not everyone has to have kids to give their life meaning.
I'm not sure why most Millennials don't want kids, but this does seem to be the case. I'm a Millennial, and I've always wanted to get married and raise a family. I'll probably adopt 2 or 3 kids once my income level rises and I find a husband, but it'll be a while before that happens.
Did you read what I posted in your poll about this poll?
Yes, I did.
Glux, I know how you feel about immigration, and someone linked this to me, concerning birth rates in the US, and my concern that Millennials are not having kids. I thought this would be of interest to you, especially.
Glux....I thought you were a guy. Online interactions confuse me
I am a guy. I'm also gay.
That's pretty accurate. It's easy to point to financial reasons. The cost of living keeps increasing, as well as tuition costs, while the rate of pay increases don't reflect this. It's plenty hard enough as it is just to support yourself in this day and age. It is irresponsible to take on the financial demands of a child if you simply can't afford it... and I think my generation understands this concept better than any previous generation.
Thanks, laserbeam. I was told when I was young that if I waited until I could afford a child, I would never have a child. I think there is a lot of sense in that, because as we get older, we want our standard of living to go up.
I think a big difference between this generation and those before is that those before were willing to sacrifice to have kids and this generation is not. I'm really disturbed by some of the answers as to why people don't want kids.
One time I posted a poll targeting to only parents asking how much total they spent (or estimate to spend) to raise each of their children from birth to their 18th birthday. A majority voted "Over 100k" from what I recall.
Yeah, see that is unrealistic, imho. We live on a pastor's salary, so there is NO WAY we've come anywhere close to spending that, unless you include housing, utilities, etc.
I kinda would, yeah.
Makes perfect sense to me. Let's say a family brings in a modest 30,000 per year. Over 18 years, that's $540,000... Let's say they had only 1 kid, surely they spent at least 100k (18.5% of total income) on them.
I'd like to point out that 30k total family income simply is pretty impossible for a family with kids to live on today, at least in major metropolitan areas. The fact is that my generation is usually being faced with the reality that both people in a couple need to have their own jobs and contribute income to the household. That makes it even harder to decide it's a good decision to have kids when you'll have hire to a nanny because nobody is home.
That's actually about 10K higher than we had to live on with a family of 4 kids! Lol
Of course, we've never lived in a major metro area. I read an article one time that a few decades ago that said that many professional women found it was actually cheaper to stay home with their kids than to work because of all the extra expenses of a job--gas, a professional wardrobe, eating out every day, child care, gifts for co workers on certain occasions, etc.
My perception of today's cost of living is that of a girl from LA so I'm not as familiar with the dynamics of living in a rural society. Lol. All I know is that I'm not so sure I'd agree with that article you're citing when thinking about modern day urban America. Housing is too expensive for 1 person to pay alone in many cases.
There is a wide variety of housing costs throughout the US. Since you said that you're not familiar with living in a rural society, I thought you might be interested in this article. Scroll down to the map. Check out the differences in how much you have to make per hour to rent an apartment in CA as opposed to AL! Oh, man, I didn't realize it was double! ROFLOL
I have a family member that has just moved to the west coast. Keep in mind that they were in college before this, & went from a large apartment, had to downsize to 800 sq. Apartment, can't afford to store their car at their apartment, so it's an hour away, and has had to take a second job, even though he's an ENGINEER now, as opposed to a college student here! The cost of living out there is RIDICULOUS!
Right. That all makes sense. Millennials with a college education areas move to urban areas because that's where the best jobs (and sometimes only jobs.. see "technology") in which they are qualified for are located. They have to pay the cost of living there. This describes a day in the life of your average college-educated millennial if nothing else at least, so it's easy to see how common it is for people to feel uncomfortable adding a child's financial burden.
I see your point. Did you check out the map? Many people talk about lower paying jobs in states like AL, but don't take into account the lower cost of living! Lol
$13/hr is still a lot of money for a young adult to find when they're starting out on their own. Minimum wage there is $7.25 hour. You need a roommate (or a SO) who also works to contribute their share, regardless if you live in CA or AL. It all checks out.
I don't know how much the average per hour is for a college grad. That would be something to look into, I guess.
A significant portion of college graduates are paying off very large student loans, so that's no good either.
I still think a lot of it is that Millennials expect to live at the same standard of living as their parents and aren't willing to make do.
For example, it used to be that a college student shared a very small dorm room, with one bed each and not much else. Now, they expect to live in a suite with a kitchen and living area, if not their own apartments with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. We've been in the workforce for 35 years and have never been able to afford those kinds of amenities!
The first house that hubby and I rented had a coal furnace and a lean to bathroom, and this was in 1979. I can't imagine ANY Millennial being willing to live in something like that. But that was what we could afford, and we were proud it was ours!
Part 2. Additionally, parents now give their kids so much for their b'days that it resembles what we gave ours from Santa, with huge, themed b'day parties, etc. You can get by much cheaper than a lot of people do, but I think a lot of it is that parents are trying to give their kids things instead of love, which never works well.
Well, I've enjoyed talking, but I have to get in the bed soon. Have a great evening!
I only know two millenials personally and both founded a family.
When walking down the street I see many couples with babies and toddlers.
The generation X baby bust may have been overcome, that's my impression.
Thanks, Praet. I've been disturbed by some of the answers in this poll, as to why they don't want kids.
Our birth rate is about 1.90 currently, above the 1.60 of other first world countries. This is still not sustainable.
What can we do to increase birth rates?
Is that the national birth rate, across all demographics? Because I see blacks and Hispanics having a LOT more kids than whites.
Looks like it:
I've been saying for the last twenty years that whites were going to end up the minorities soon because we're not having kids whereas black and Hispanics are.
I don't know about that. Most of my peers have kids. Many of them have multiple kids. My husband and I don't have kids, but that's not by choice. Then again, my peers are in their early 30s. That may not be true of younger millennials.
Thanks, and I agree--I think there is a BIG difference between older and younger Millennials. You might want to check out some of the answers in this poll. It's really disturbing to me, the reasons that people are giving for not wanting kids.
The millennials I know want fewer children, no children, or are planning to wait several years before thinking about having children.
We definitely want fewer/no kids. Parenting looks like a nightmare. I know parents that regret it. I'll pass.
That's sad that they regret it. Raising my kids was the most fulfilling part of my life!
Me too 4JC. I mean, it's no walk in the park but so very worth it in so many ways.
I agree, Julie! I'm REALLY disturbed by the answers from Millennials here. Everything from "it's too expensive, or too hard", or "I know parents that regret it" to "kids are a BURDEN!" A definite shift away from kids being a BLESSING, and worth every second of your time and energy!
Why do you care? I think the sales pitch is weird. And yeah, we don't want to struggle. Why would anyone opt into struggling? So bizarre
Definitely! I think you're right about millennials wanting a certain standard of living and they don't want to wait for it. My oldest daughter is a millennial and her nickname is IG because she always wants instant gratification. She doesn't plan to think about kids until she's 30.
Thatguy--this is the first generation that has worried more about having it easy than having kids. Your generation is COMPLETELY different from ALL those that have come before. I'm trying to wrap my head around that--it seems selfish to me.
Julie--it's the microwave generation! I fear (and have already been seeing it play out) that a lot of those that wait until they're 30 are waiting too late, and then they have fertility issue or birth defects. But I've read a lot about this generation also refusing to grow up, and I think that might play into it, also.
I'm a millennial and I'm still on the fence about kids. My fiancé and I are still recovering from the recession and paying off debt (medical bills and student loans). We are in no position to add more expenses, such as children or animals. We are perfectly comfortable living well below our means. We don't care for nice material things, what we are focused on is our relationship, staying healthy, paying down our debt, and building our retirement fund/emergency fund. Throw some kids in that mix, at least for now, and it's a huge setback.
I can see you're trying to be responsible. But someone told me when I was young that if I waited until I could afford kids I'd never have them! Lol
There is a lot of truth to that, as the older we get, the more money we make, the higher standard of living we expect.
It's really not about the expected standard of living. I know many millennials who live in small apartments or small homes that need a lot of work. They are grateful to have a place of their own. They just don't see how it could work in today's economy with their situation. More young people start their lives in debt than ever before. Healthcare costs are so much higher than they were in the 60's and 70's.
We're still paying off medical debt and my health insurance doesn't cover maternity care 100%. It will cost me about $10,000 for all the prenatal care and labor. Then, my premiums will double when I add a child. I can't help but see this decision as digging myself into a deeper hole.
Wow! I didn't realize it was that bad! I'm not talking about the difference between now and the 60's and 70's, though. We raised our kids from 1980-2013.
It's really sad that I'm getting the response I am--everything from I can't afford kids to I don't want kids because I know parents that regret having kids, to kids are a burden.
That is definitely a change from my generation that believed that kids were a blessing. This is sad commentary on how far our country has sunk, both economically, and morally, imho.
4JC, aren't you a conservative? I thought I saw you post about being a conservative before. I apologize if I'm mistaken.
The reason I ask is because I have always heard conservatives complain about people on welfare, like SNAP and TANF. They say things like,"if you can't afford kids, then you shouldn't be having them." Now a generation is taking this advice and it's confusing the conservatives? Now I'm confused.
I'm probably a different kind of conservative than you're used to. My family has always struggled because we're in the ministry. So I don't look down on a lot of people that are poor, as long as they are trying to make ends meet. In fact, I've very AGAINST being judgmental about the poor and have put two people on ignore in the last two days due to their calling me trailer trash.
My point is that in the past, people were willing to sacrifice, and do without, in order to have kids, and it seems like that is not the case any more.
Oh, ok. Thanks for clarifying. I agree with you about not judging the poor. I always say that everyone has their own story and their own struggles. It's not my place to judge whether someone just didn't work hard enough to make it out of poverty.
I agree. And many families have two very hard working parents and are STILL in poverty.
I think so. I have one millennial niece who's been married for 3 years now. She and her husband don't want children. They're successful and educated people. They have a comfortable lifestyle. They think children are too expensive.
Do you think that some of it is that they're not willing to make do with what they have like we were? That they want to live on the same standard of living as their parents, for whom it took 40 years to get there?
I kind of think that's it. My niece took my sister in law to NYC for her birthday this month. I'm taking my mom to lunch tomorrow. There's a difference, I suppose.
Lol. YES. You even see it in the way they do kid's birthday parties now compared to what ours were like when we were little. No WONDER so many of them think it costs so much to raise kids! They're giving them more for their birthdays than we used to do for Santa! Imho, this just leads to spoiled brats.
I'm afraid that Millennials were given all this stuff by their parents, because the parents were trying to give their kids things since they couldn't spend time with them due to working all the time, and now this is backfiring, because the Millennials say, "There's no way I'm going to be able to give my kids what my parents gave me, so I'm not even gonna try."
So now those Baby Boomers are not going to have grandkids because they gave their kids every little thing they whined for! SMH
It's not scary, just different. But I suppose different can be scary.
I'm missing where someone said it was scary, Commie.
Financial and job instability along with much lower level of income plusa general increased amount of debt.
Millenials compared to their adult counterparts simply don't have the necessary resources to raise children in today's world.
Do you think that some of it could possibly be that Millennials want granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, and all the things that it took their parents 40 years to accumulate, whereas generations in the past were willing to make do with what they could afford?
For instance, I started my married life in a house with a coal furnace, a lean to for a bathroom, etc. and this was in the late 70's and early 80's. We were on cloud 9 just to be able to be together, and it didn't matter that we didn't have what our parents did. We were doing it ON OUR OWN, with no help from anyone else.
Nowadays, I hear stories about people in their 20's with good jobs that are sharing an apartment with someone else, and their GRANDMOTHERS are paying their share of the rent! That is OUTRAGEOUS to me!
Always wanted 3 or 4, will be lucky to have 1.
Oh, I'm SO sorry, bluerum! And I'm sorry if my question was insensitive. So many others are posting here about not wanting more kids, that they're too expensive, etc. so I was thinking along those lines. I bet knowing that others don't want kids is extremely hard for you. I'll be praying for you.
It's all about them.
This is it. Millennials are very secular and this is a direct consequence.
Thanks! I've wondered if it is that they refuse to give up a higher standard of living and want everything immediately that their parents worked 40 years to attain.
What do you think about that?
I think that's part of it. Children are a huge burden in terms of money and time. And from a secular point of view, children are basically a burden. But now the millennials (me included) are into their 30s so more of them are wanting children (especially the women)- just not many children.
See, that's a BIG difference, and I think a lot of this is because of less Christian influence. In the past, we saw children as a BLESSING, not a burden. The Bible talks about children being a blessing and that happy is the man who has his quiver full of children.
I'm afraid that those waiting until their 30's are going to find out that they have waited too late, and aren't able to have the kids they wanted, due to fertility issues. Also, the older you are, the greater your chances of having a birth defect.
None or one. Way too expensive.
It was easier, cheaper and the environment was safer on the '60s & '70s, when we were raising our children. Today's environment requires more skill and is much more expensive!
For sure. I could drive cross country in the 80's with 3 little kids, eating fast food twice a day and staying at campgrounds. Not now. Gas alone is prohibitive.
Thanks! Do either of you think it could be this:
Generations past just learned to make do with what they had, but kids getting married now want everything that their parents have worked 40 years to get, and so they sacrifice having more kids to live at a higher standard of living?
For example, we could take an 8 hour trip, with 4 kids, and spend $.99 on each of them for a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger and drink a free glass of water, to be able to go on a trip. Whereas now, young adults want to eat out for EVERY meal instead of making meals from scratch. They want an apartment with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances.
So what I'm saying is that we knew how to make do, and had no problems with that, whereas kids nowadays refuse to do so.
4JC, I totally agree with you! We had TV, but most of us watched it in store windows with the sound broadcast outside. We were lucky! New inventions amazed us, but our play thrived on our imagination. I grew up with the computer age and was excited by it, rather than enslaved by it like later generations. Our mothers were home for us. We had less, but thought we had more!
Harry, I've been really DISTURBED by the answers I'm getting from Millennials in this poll. Everything from it's too expensive to have kids, to I don't want kids because I know parents that regret it, to kids are a BURDEN!
This is a definite shift away from our feeling that kids were a BLESSING and happy was the man that had his quiver full of them! This REALLY scares me about the future of our country!
My grandparents had 10 kids. Most of those 10 had 2-4 kids. My cousin's all have 2-4. The cost of living has a lot to do with this trend.
Do you think any of it could be that generations past just learned to make do with what they had, but kids getting married now want everything that their parents have worked 40 years to get, and so they sacrifice having more kids to live at a higher standard of living?
I was told back in the early 80's that if I waited until I could afford kids, I'd never have them.
I think it was more of the norm to have less generations prior. Today I'm expected to have a car, smart phone, and nice clothes for my job. I personally don't have kids because I enjoy my freedom. I like to be able to travel, focus on my career and do what I want without the responsibility of another human being. I'm not saying I will never have kids....but it's not on my radar right now. I also know a few extremely selfish people who've chosen to have kids...and now their children suffer due to the parents self centeredness...
Thanks, kitty! That's a very well thought out answer, and I see your point about those that are self centered. I'm just getting the impression that there are a lot more that are self centered in the current generation than those that went before them. I guess time will tell.
Ya it happens as a country becomes educated in birth control as well as becomes liberalized. Just about Every developed country has a less than 2.1 birthrate so they depend on immigration to grow population. America is still above 2.1 but not by much.
All of my hubby's family that I talked about were married AFTER the birth control pill was invented in 1960, but they still wanted larger families. It's not that they had "accidents". Their children were wanted. That's what I'm trying to ascertain. Are people, with the same birth control options, wanting less children now?
Birth control aren't the only contraceptive. And ya they could still want large families but today's standard of a large family is still lower than our grandparents standard of a large family as a society we have started having smaller and smaller families. There is also the cost of living that happens in developed families. The less children you have the more disposable income you have that you can use to travel have more gadgets ect. Which wasn't as easily accessible in past generations
That's what I'm trying to determine, and I agree. I see that to this younger generation, their standard of living is more important than having kids.
I personally wish to have many children. Although, this is dependent on my future finances, where I'll be living, the job I'll have because currently I'll be going into a protection field (incoming college freshmen so that may change), if I have a wife of whom we'd get along soundly and who mutually wants as many children as I do.
I do see this trend of counter nuclear family's and family values though, yes
The reason I ask is because hubby's family had 5 kids, and only one of those kids had less than 3 kids. They had 1, 3, 3, 4, and 4 kids. However, those grandkids are now grown and of those 15 grandkids, there is only one that has more than 2 kids. Those grandkids that are married have 3, 2, 2, 1, 2, 2, 2, 1, 2, & 1 kids each. There is one married couple that is not sure if they will have any.
So I'm wondering if this is a trend. Thanks for your answers!
💠 Poll Q:
Per a convo on SOH: Thinking about the people you know, does it seem to you that those of the Millennial generation in general are having/wanting less children than their parents and grandparents did? Please comment why you answered as you did.