Poll: Increase in Number of Americans Who Say Unlikely to Have Children

Poll: Increase in Number of Americans Who Say Unlikely to Have Children Poll: Increase in Number of Americans Who Say Unlikely to Have Children A young boy reaches out to touch a Halloween figure holding a lollipop outside the Washington Harbor shopping mall, near the Georgetown waterfront, in Washington, DC on October 31, 2021. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty)

By Theodore Bunker | Monday, 22 November 2021 12:00 PM

Americans are increasingly saying that they are unlikely to ever have children while most adults with children are unlikely to have more, according to a new poll from Pew Research Center.

Pew found that when it comes to non-parents ages 18 to 49:

  • 26% are very likely to have children.
  • 29% are somewhat likely to have children.
  • 21% are not too likely to have children.
  • 23% are not likely at all to have children.

In 2018:

  • 31% were very likely to have children.
  • 29% were somewhat likely to have children.
  • 16% were not too likely to have children.
  • 21% were not likely at all to have children.

Most childless adults said that the reason they probably won’t have children is because "they just don’t want to have children," while the rest cited a variety of factors:

  • 19% said medical reasons.
  • 17% said financial reasons.
  • 15% said because they have no partner.
  • 10% said because of their age.
  • 9% said because of the state of the world.
  • 5% said climate change or the environment.
  • 2% said their partner doesn’t want children.

Among adults who do have children:

  • 25% are somewhat or very likely to have more children.
  • 74% are not too likely or not likely at all to have more children.

In 2018:

  • 28% were somewhat or very likely to have more children.
  • 71% were not too likely or not likely at all to have more children.

Pew surveyed 3,866 U.S. adults as part of a larger survey of 9,676 respondents from October 18-24, 2021, with a margin of error of +/- 1.6 percentage points.