At some point in our lives, we are all faced with the question of whether or not to have children. This question is a multi-facetted question because there are a number of factors to consider when making the huge decision of whether to have kids or not. Do you have the necessary financial means to support them? Do you have space and the time to dedicate to raising a child? Timing is another a major factor to consider when having children. Average parental age is increasing while some are choosing not to have children at all for various reasons. Some of these decisions are the result of more women being focused on their careers as well as more advanced contraception methods.

There are many studies that have been employed to study the effects of having children on a family and on a woman. There have also been surveys as to why people believe having children is a vital part of life or why they are okay with having no children. Some people find life empty and pointless without children and others are content living without children. It all depends on the couple and their desires.

For a rising number of couples, it is not important at all. According to a new survey, 41 percent of people surveyed said that children were a vital part of a successful marriage. This is down from the 65 percent that said so in 1990. This relates to the fact that now 1 in 5 American women do not have kids. That number has increased from 1 in 10 in the 1970s. Out of the approximately 58 million married couples in the United States, roughly 27 million are childless. Some people claim the high rate of divorce is reason enough not to have kids so that a child does not have to be raised in a broken home. Studies also show that a couple’s happiness generally decreases after they have their first child.

The Department of Agriculture stated that the average cost to raise a child through high school for a middle-income family in which the parents are not divorced is approximately $286,050. The price rises significantly for higher tax brackets and with children who choose to continue their education in college. With the economic recession of the past years, it comes as no surprise that the number of couples who choose not to have kids has increased.

Source:  The Valued Child. In Search of a Latent Attitude Profile that Influences the Transition to Motherhood. European Journal of Population. March 2008, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 33-57.