Biology dictates we were put on this planet to reproduce. It also dictates, in combination with a little thing called reality, that we need enough money to buy food to survive.
These two forces – biological purpose and economic livelihood – are increasingly at odds, as evidenced most glaringly by Canada’s declining fertility rate.
A recent survey by the New York Times piles on the proof that it simply costs too much to have a baby these days. The poll asked American young adults why they had or expected to have fewer children than they considered ideal and presented respondents with 18 answers. (The fertility rate in the United States is declining at about the same rate as in Canada, and the reasons can be assumed to mirror what Canadians would cite).
According to the data, 64 per cent of those surveyed say the cost of childcare is preventing them from having kids. In fact, four of the top five reasons given had to do with the financial burden of supporting life in our increasingly costly society.
The full results below:
It’s not all about economic insecurity, however. According to the New York Times, “the reasons that adults are having fewer children [also] tells a story that is partly about greater gender equality. Women have more agency over their lives, and many feel that motherhood has become more of a choice.” That, of course, is a positive spin.
Another part of the survey asked young adults why they weren’t having children at all. This time, the results were different, with 36 per cent saying they want more leisure time for themselves. Thirty-four per cent, meanwhile, said they just haven’t found the right partner. The third-most popular choice, at 31 per cent, was not being able to afford childcare. Eleven per cent even said they were too worried about climate change to bring a child into a world that may be reduced to the pits of hell in the next few decades.
On a related note, the total population of the world is expected to reach 9.8 billion by 2050.