5 Reasons Why People Keep Delaying Parenthood
Back in the day, people often had their first child in their early 20s, but times have changed. According to the United Nations Population Fund, the average age of women having their first child has already surpassed 30 in places like Italy, Japan, Korea, and Spain. All over the world, people really seem to be taking their time when it comes to starting a family.
We at Bright Side are going to take a look at why this appears to be happening in places around the world.
1. The world is getting more and more expensive.
Michael Herrmann, a United Nations Population Fund senior advisor, says that the cost of starting a family might be scaring people off. For example, in Korea, the increasing cost of higher education and tutoring programs is just one expense that might delay people from having kids. Not only do children need a lot, like clothing and food, but the investments people make are becoming more expensive than in the past, whether it’s going to college or buying a house.
2. Today’s woman is busy living her life.
Women, in particular, have a lot more opportunities when it comes to having a career than they did in the past. A century ago, women often worked until they got married or at least had children, but now they have the freedom to pursue a career that they want to keep for the rest of their lives.
Even colleges in the 1920s advertised that they didn’t want female students... something that seems ludicrous today. And that was the ’20s... the age of the “new woman.” A job has gone from an adolescent phase to a major, if not defining, part of a woman’s life, and pursuing a job, especially your passion, comes with a lot more work and time.
3. We all just want to find that “special someone.”
Usually, the first step in starting a family isn’t having a child, but finding your significant other. Even people who plan on adopting or fostering children have better luck being selected if they are in a relationship. Unfortunately, the world isn’t always a friendly place and young people are saying that they are feeling more lonely than ever before. With the world at your fingertips, when you can get just about anything you want left at your door or have a career without leaving your laptop, people also have fewer reasons to go out and socialize.
4. We’re taking our relationships very slowly.
If you’re lucky enough to find someone to love who loves you back, that doesn’t always mean you’re living happily ever after overnight. And it seems that young people are also waiting to get married to that special someone. Back in the 1970s, 80% of young people were married by the time they were 30, but nowadays, that percentage of people is more likely to be married by the age of 45. Young people aren’t necessarily averse to marriage, they just take a longer time to make commitments.
5. Young people have had their share of struggles.
Millennials might be young, but they know life isn’t always fun and easy: many of us have experienced some difficult times and it made getting your first job a nightmare. Small businesses couldn’t afford to hire people. And even when you found places that were hiring, college graduates were considered too “risky,” either because they were “over-educated” or because they just didn’t have enough work experience.
Unpaid internships, where young people found themselves working for free in the hopes of getting a paying job, were popular during the recession, delaying financial independence even more. And even after the recession ended, transitioning back into the working world still takes time, meaning a lot of young people are still trying to get their lives together before they start a family.
Where are you in your own plans about starting a family? Why do you think people seem to wait longer to have children?