Last month, the New Yorker put out an article that resonated with me on a personal level. Not that this is so unusual - but I was surprised because it seemed to speak particularly to my particular demographic. The article, a feature in the “Motherlode: Adventures in Parenting” segment was about how millennials want children but aren’t planning on them. This is something that, as a 27 year old in grad school, I think about.
According to the article, “the rate of students graduating from college who plan to have children has gone down by roughly half in just two decades.” And while a majority of Gen X grad students reported planning to have children in 1992, in 2012, fewer than half of millennials said they planned to have children.
I suppose I don’t find this all that surprising. I love the idea of having children but find myself overwhelmed by anxieties about the practicalities. As the article says, ”millennials [have] more anxiety about the future, in part because they started their college years during the Great Recession, and graduated with more student debt than the previous generation … [over the past two decades] the time requirements for work [have] shot up by a full 14 hours per week. ” How could this not factor in to the decision to have children?
Apparently I’m not alone in thinking this because the article reports that according to a study conducted by Dr. Stewart Friedman of the Wharton School, “[a] majority of millennials in the study said they wanted to have children someday; they simply didn’t see how they could make it work.”
What are your thoughts on this issue? If you are a millennial, do you worry about whether or not you’ll be able to have a family?
If you want to check out the full article, check it out here.