Nearly half of childless adults under 50 say they’re likely not having kids: Poll

Laurel Duggan, DCNF

A Nov. 19 Pew Research Center poll found that childless adults under 50 are less likely to expect to have children than in previous years, and parents are less likely to be planning for more children.

Of childless adults under 50, 44% said they were “not too likely” or “not at all likely” to have children, representing a seven point increase from 2018, according to Pew.

Of adults under 50 with children, nearly 75% said they were “not too likely” or “not likely at all” to have more children, showing no significant change from 2018.

Among the many reasons mom-parents said they didn’t want children — including medical and financial reasons, climate change, the state of the world and other factors — the majority (56%) “just don’t want to have children.”

Pew reported that there was little distinction between men and women’s responses, and older adults in the survey were less likely to be planning for children. Fathers were three times as likely as mothers to cite already having children as their reason for not wanting more.

The U.S. birthrate has been steadily declining for decades and fell to an all time low of 1.6 children per woman as women marry and have children later in life. The decline was particularly sharp in 2020 during COVID.

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