News & Opinion | November 24, 2021 10:41 am

Obviously No One Wants to Bring Children Into This World

A new poll shows interest in having kids is on a decline. I can't imagine why.

Photo shows row of white, empty baby carriages
No babies on board
Susan Colby / EyeEm

If you ask me, there’s never a good time to bring new life into the world. The only thing worse than children are parents, and we probably should have let the human race quietly die out years ago. But it would seem that even those of a generally less cynical frame of mind than myself share my reluctance to procreate, with a recent poll revealing a growing number of Americans do not plan to have children.

According to the poll, released last week by Pew Research Center, nearly half of childless Americans between ages 18 and 49 say it’s “not too likely” or “not at all likely” that they’ll ever reproduce, representing an increase of 7 percent from 2018. Meanwhile, those who do have children already also expressed a reluctance to add to their brood, with 74 percent of parents under 50 calling it unlikely that they’ll have more children — up from 71 percent in 2018. Reluctance to reproduce is seemingly evenly distributed across genders, with men and women, both parents and non-parents, equally turned off by the idea of bringing children into the world.

The report comes amid lingering fears of a post-pandemic baby bust, reinforced earlier this year when data revealed fertility rates in the US (which had already been on a decline before COVID-19) plummeted to record lows in 2020. The Pew Survey confirms that not only are Americans not having children, but they have no intention of firing up the baby-making machine anytime soon.

As many on social media have pointed out, it’s pretty obvious why. While there have always been plenty of good reasons not to have children (see above), some might argue that there have never been more reasons to avoid procreating than right now. From the pandemic, to a society designed to make it extremely difficult for anyone other than the super-wealthy to support themselves, to the imminent threat climate change poses to our very existence, there’s never been a better time to not bring life into the world.

Among the poll’s respondents, 17 percent of the child-averse cited financial concerns, five percent were worried about climate change and nine percent expressed fears regarding the “state of the world” in general. Other reasons included medical issues and not having partner, but the majority by far, 56 percent, simply said they “just don’t want to have children,” which is a perfectly good reason to not have them. Remember, there are plenty of bad reasons to bring life into the world, but only excellent reasons not to.