I grew up in a family with 10 kids and my husband in a family of 14 kids. While most would say this is a huge family size, to others it seems more normal (many Utah mormon families had a lot of kids at this time). You don’t see as many large families today, though. Are families choosing to have less kids because of the economy? It may be a combination of reasons, but for many families finances can be limiting.
Let’s face it, raising a child is a huge cost. According to Utah’s Deseret News, a middle class family raising a child born in 2010 will spend around $226,920 to raise them till 18 years of age. That’s a quarter-million for just one child! With rising cost of living and job wages staying about the same, it can be tough trying to affort more children. Working longer hours to support a family or having both partners working also causes strain on providing for a family financially and in other aspects.
I came across a post in Cafe Mom, social networking site for moms, asking moms how many kids they would choose to have if money was not a factor. The responses pointed to many moms feeling limited by finances. Out of about 87 moms that replied to the post, the average number of kids they have or plan to have is 2.68 while the average number they would like to have if money wasn’t an issue is 4.22. In addition, a few others responded that they would have as many as they could if money wasn’t an issue. 21/87, for a percentage of 24%, said they would have the same number of kids regardless of finances, leaving 66/87 or 76% feeling limited by their economic situation.
Other families really want more children, but fertility problems create an issue conceiving. When fertility treatements such as taking Clomid, depot shots, doing In Vitro Fertilization and adoption are going to add to the cost of having children. I found it interesting that a lot of the responses said they would like to adopt more children if money wasn’t an option. Some moms don’t want to go through pregnancy and delivery again, but would like have more children. Others may go through divorse and have to work harder to support children as a single parent.
By no means am I trying to say these stats represent the entire United States population of families, but from these moms on Cafe Mom that live throughout the U.S. and other countries, I find this information relevant to how the economy can affect family size in one survey. It’s unfortunate that some parents would love to have more children, yet feel limited by finances. My heart goes out to those that do have fertility issues or other factors that also make having children more of a financial burden. All in all, it’s a personal decision for each family how many kids they have and doing their best to support them not only financially, but in raising and caring for them the best they can!
Do you feel your family size is limited by the economy? Comment and share your thoughts!
Cafe Mom: How many kids would you have if money was not an object?
Deseret News: A quarter-million to raise a child?
Read more of Debi’s articls on Facebook at Utah Family Life and her About Me page. Subscribe to receive email updates of Debi’s articles by clicking the “Subscribe” link above. Debi is also the SLC Children’s Toys Examiner, SLC Early Childhood Parenting Examiner, SLC Family Health Examiner, SLC Home-based Business Examiner, andRelationships 101 Examiner.