Single child families are on the rise, according to new research published by the Office for National Statistics, the number has increased by almost 700,000 in 15 years to 3.7 million, and word on the street is that one-child families are likely to be in the majority within a decade.
That’s the ‘China syndrome’ – based on the one-child policy that has been law in China since 1978.
And according to “The Telegraph”, the US, Canada, Spain, Portugal and India are other countries heading toward a single-child-family majority.
The obvious question is ‘Why?’
Money is the first thing that comes to mind – children are just darn expensive. Another contributing factor could be the fact that women are doing the career thing and having children much later, so there’s pretty much only time for one baby.
And according to Victoria Lambert writing for “The Telegraph”, the new one-child family norm is a middle class thing.
On opposing ends of the spectrum, the super-rich and the super-poor are defying the trend, and it comes down to money as a crutch; the rich can afford child care for their many babies and the poor have no money but the state will support their many babies.
I am not quite sure what to think about all this. It makes sense in a lot of ways (assuming money is the issue); I mean, if the average middle class couple can’t afford more than one child then why put quality of life in jeopardy.
I fall into the ‘average’ bracket; I have two children and would love a third even though I know that financially it will be a huge ask. Do I quash the desire for a bigger family or do I defy the new norm even though I know we can’t afford it?
For a more detailed review of the ‘China Syndrome’, read “Going solo; the shrinking face of the family” by Victoria Lambert
What do you think about only-child families? Are there other reasons that would make couples decide that one child is enough?