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Why is Gen Z Choosing Not to Have Children?

childfree generation, gen z and kids

A new survey found that only 55% of Gen Z and millennials plan to have children. One in four respondents, aged 18 to 34, has ruled out parenthood altogether, with the most common reason being that they want more time for themselves.

Why is this happening?

There are several reasons why young people are increasingly opting out of parenthood.

One reason is that they are now experiencing an extended adolescence. In recent decades, the rising cost of living and the expansion of higher education have made it more difficult for young people to achieve financial independence and other traditional milestones of adulthood. As a result, millennials and Gen Z are delaying marriage, homeownership, and parenthood.

Another reason for the decline in childbearing is that young people are more focused on their own personal fulfillment. They are delaying parenthood in order to pursue their education, careers, and hobbies. They are also more likely to be single and living alone, which makes it less practical to have children.

Finally, some young people simply do not want children. They may not feel ready for the responsibility of parenthood, or they may not believe that having children is compatible with their lifestyle or values.

Modern culture and extended adolescence.

In today’s materialistic and individualistic society, people are increasingly focused on their own personal desires and self-discovery. Traditional bonds, such as family and community, are often seen as constraints.

Research shows that millennials are more extrinsically motivated than previous generations.

A study by Jean Twenge and her colleagues found that millennials are more driven by extrinsic concerns such as money, fame, and image than by intrinsic concerns such as community and affiliation. These increasingly individualistic values are likely contributing to the trend of younger generations taking more time for self-exploration in their twenties.

The slower life strategy

In traditional collectivist societies, people are expected to take on adult responsibilities at a younger age. They are also more likely to be motivated by intrinsic concerns such as family and community.

The trend of extended adolescence is likely due to a combination of factors, including cultural changes and economic challenges.

The cultural changes mentioned above are certainly playing a role, but economic challenges are also a factor. The rising cost of living and student debt are making it more difficult for young people to become independent. As a result, they are taking longer to finish school and start their careers.

On the one hand, it allows young people to explore their options and find their passion. On the other hand, it can lead to financial instability and social isolation.

Young people should not feel pressured to rush into adulthood, but they also need to be realistic about their financial and social needs. By finding a balance between these two things, they can set themselves up for a successful and fulfilling life.

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