Recently released data from the United States census reveals that Americans birth rate is on the decline and among the slowest growth rates since the beginning of the early 1900s. The main culprit behind the steep decline? As you might have guessed, the culprit is the COVID-19 pandemic.
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America's Declining Birth Rate
New research from Harmony Healthcare IT surveyed over 1,000 American women to try and learn more about the top reasons why women and American families are foregoing on starting a family in 2021. Some of the type takeaways from the survey are that women feel overwhelmed by societal pressures, lack of income to properly raise a family and conflicts with their careers. Let’s us take a deeper dive into the findings to learn more about American’s declining birth rate.
Family Planning In 2021
One of the main takeaways from the survey is that a majority of American women believe they would have already had a child at this point in their lives. The survey found that 67% of women who were surveyed reported that they thought they would have kids by now. On top of that only 52% of women that were surveyed said they are still planning to start a family. 31% said they don’t plan to have children and another 17% reported that they were not sure if they want to have kids.
Among the top reasons why American women are not having children in 2021? Finances, career ambitions, impact on lifestyle/freedom and no desire among many other reasons. Despite the reasons why women are passing on having children many still feel pressured to have children either from society of from their parents or direct family members.
Almost half of women who were surveyed say they feel pressured by their parents or families’ expectations for them to have a child. Almost the same number are reluctant to tell their families that they don’t want children. Over 4 in 10 women say they have concerns that their families will be disappointed in their decision to not have children.
Finances And Family Planning
44% of American said that financial reasons are the top reason they don’t plan to have children. This was the top reason listed from the entire survey. A majority of women surveyed (61%) said that they do not current having enough in their savings to raise a child. On top of that 6 in 10 women surveyed said cost is main thing that is preventing them from starting a family.
The COVID-19 Pandemic And Family Planning
As mentioned above, the COVCI-19 pandemic has impacted many Americans desires to have children. Over a third of surveyed respondents said that the pandemic has actively delayed their plan to start a family. Over 50% of surveyed respondents reported that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed their attitudes about starting a family. The news is not all doom and gloom though. Over 4 in 10 women surveyed said that the pandemic has increased their desire to start a family. 61% of those surveyed also said they have baby fever or a strong urge to have a child as soon as possible.
Listed below are the top triggers for baby fever in American women:
- Friends having kids (53%)
- Family having children (52%)
- Social media (41%)
- Holding a baby (37%)
- Celebrities having babies (33%)
- Seeing babies on movies/TV (25%)
- Seeing a baby in public (27%)
- Subconscious urges (16%)
Motherhood And Mental Health
The impact on a mother’s mental health after having a child is undeniable. Many women experience both joy and concern throughout the birthing process. A majority of women reported being happier after having children (57%). Only a quarter of women believed that having a child would negatively impact their mental health. 6 in 10 women actually believe their it is selfish for a woman to not have children.
Pressures On Women To Children In 2021
It’s been mentioned above that many women are indeed feeling the pressure to have children. But many women are also concerned about their friends or family members having children. Among those surveyed, nearly 65% of women say they know at least one person who they believe should not have children. Almost 25% believe that person would be less happy if they decided to have children.
Listed below are the top reasons women believe that their friends shouldn’t have children:
- They lack parenting skills (32%)
- They are too young to have children (23%)
- The are too financial unstable to have children (22%)
- They are too irresponsible to have children (14%)
- They are too old to be considering children (5%)
- They believe martial issues would impact raising a child (4%)
- Other issues (2%)
On top of that another 52% of women have privately criticized a friend for having too many children.