Is choosing NOT to have children bad for society?

Apparently a recent study of American women shows that 18 percent of women (nearly 1 in 5!) now end their childbearing years without biological children, compared to 10 percent in 1976. And for an increasing number of these women – childlessness is a choice.

But what I found really interesting was people’s opinions about childlessness…  In 2007 29% of people thought childlessness was bad for society – but by 2009 this had jumped (increased) to 38%!

For more detailed statistics click here

I found this really surprising. So, I’m curious, who and where are these nearly 40% of people who think childlessness is bad for society?

My initial thoughts are that if everyone decided not to have children, that might be bad for society, but if less people choose not to have children this could be GOOD for society. It’s good for the environment (eg. less food, resources and other products required and less driving around). AND it may be good for the kids that ARE being raised – people who don’t have kids of their own are someone else for a child to go to – who may have more time for them than someone who already has children of their own. I’m thinking doting aunts, uncles and friends here.

But more importantly, what do you think?

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Thanks to Andrea Palframan for her suggestion of this topic and The Salon for the prompt for this post.


1 comment to Is choosing NOT to have children bad for society?

  • I think the CHOICE to not have children can only have a good effect on society. As you point out, less resources used, and less time, energy and effort towards providing for these children only free up the resources, time, energy and effort available for the children who are here.

    What I enjoy about the statistic is that it’s a CHOICE. I’m a huge fan of conscious choice, and it simply means more women are making choices in their lives. This is GREAT for society. It means we’re moving more consciously and not just doing what we’ve always done because we think we’re supposed to do it. If we can choose the life we want, then isn’t that better for everyone?

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