Why Millennials Aren’t Having Kids

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The Millennial generation has been pretty harshly stereotyped for years, as fans of avocado toast, the gig economy and never wanting to grow up.

But that last point, especially as it relates to having families of their own, isn’t entirely their fault. According to recent data, the number of new births dropped by 4% in 2020, but the birthrate in the U.S has actually been falling for years and the pandemic has little to do with it.

It’s all about the money involved in raising a family. Too many Millennials just can’t afford it.

An ongoing trend: 2020 was the sixth straight year of fewer new babies in the U.S. and now nearly 3 in 5 Millennials says they don’t want kids because they’re just too expensive. Sound crazy? Get this…

  • Labor costs on average are now more than $4,500 per kid, even if you have insurance. And the price of materity and newborn surgeries has risen by 60% in the last decade, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
  • That’s just the birth, though. The average U.S. family with a working mom pays about $13,000 in child care per year for kids under 5, according to the Center for American Progress. That’s 17% of the avearge household’s gross pay going just toward childcare (and just if they live in an average expense area; childcare in many cities in particular is much more expensive).

But there’s a twist…

Even though there are signs that money may be influencing people’s decisions to have kids, wealthier people are actually hiving fewer kids than lower-income earners. You’d think they could afford it, right?

Per the report: “In 2017, mothers in U.S. households earning under $10,000 had the highest birth rate, at about 66 births per 1,000 women. The birth rate decreased as income increases, with families making $200,000 or more per year having the lowest birth rate, at about 44 births per 1,000 women.”


My take: Prices are on the rise for everything. Home prices are rising faster than wages in 80% of housing markets, costs for  common medical procedures have climbed faster than inflation, and health care spending overall is up to $11,582 per person annually, according to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Weathier Millennials are seeing those numbers and saying, no thanks. After all, there’s a reason the population is expected to start shrinking by 2050. Families are great, but who can afford one?

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