One in three millennials say they NEVER want to have children as UK birth rates continue to fall
Published: | Updated:
It is around the age when those of us without children might start to wonder if we have left things too late.
But the ticking biological timebomb doesn’t seem to worry a host of childless 35 to 41-year-olds, it appears – with a third saying they don’t ever intend to become parents.
And another one in five of the group admit they ‘probably’ won’t have kids.
With UK birth rates continuing to fall, researchers surveyed thousands between the ages of 18 and 59 on subjects from partnerships to marriage to fertility history.
They found that fewer than half of younger millennials – those aged 25 to 34 – said they definitely or probably intended to have a child.
Fewer than half of younger millennials – those aged 25 to 34 – said they definitely or probably intended to have a child (Stock Image)
Among childless older millennials, aged 35 to 41, more than half believe they won’t become parents – with many citing fears about the environment and the world they would be bringing a child into for their choice.
Fertility begins to decline around the age of 35 for women, while male fertility starts to fall from around 40 years old.
Among younger adults, aged 18 to 24, there was also a sizeable group of 15 per cent who said they were definitely not having a child. A further 11 per cent of Generation Z said they probably did not intend to have a child, while 22 per cent were unsure.
Professor Brienna Perelli-Harris of the University of Southampton, who led the UK Generations and Gender Survey, said people may have been put off having children due to worries over the future of the planet.
But she added: ‘Whilst environmental concerns are a factor for older millennials, our study suggests this isn’t the case for Gen Z.
‘This may be because some younger people do not intend to have children for other reasons, or it could be that Gen Z-ers who would like to have children are more worried about the planet their children will inherit.’
The researchers also examined the percentage of household income spent on childcare, finding that for lower-income households it typically took up 20 to 30 per cent of their income, while those on higher incomes spent around 10 per cent.
The researchers also examined the percentage of household income spent on childcare. Pictured: March for Mummies protest in London in October 2022
A fifth of parents used only formal childcare, such as nurseries or childminders, while a quarter of parents relied exclusively on help from parents, relatives or friends.
A third of parents didn’t use any childcare at all, with those on the lowest incomes the most likely to be in this group.
Childcare costs £560 a month on average, with a quarter paying more than £800 and 15 per cent over £1,000, the study found.