In today’s rapidly evolving world, few topics stir up controversy and polarization as the declining birth rates among Millennials and Generation Z. This trend has ignited passionate arguments and sparked intense debates grappling with the potential consequences of a future with fewer offspring.
A recent social media video that gathered around 103.1K views has sparked a conversation about the declining fertility rates among Millennials and Gen Z.
Generational Trauma & Its Effects
Millennials and Gen Z face unique circumstances that contribute to their decision to have fewer children. The clip starts with answering the question,
“Millennials and Gen Z aren’t having as many children as previous generations. Why is that?”
She bravely answered, saying,
“I don’t know. Maybe because we listen to you and believe you when you said that you did the absolute best that you possibly could with better circumstances and more resources than we currently have”
Younger generations often look to older generations with respect and belief in their wisdom and correctness. They perceive that their elders’ accumulated life experiences and knowledge offer valuable guidance and insights.
However, she then expressed a contrasting statement,
“Yet still managed to neglect, traumatize, and abuse an entire generation of children, whom you now expect to believe that we can do better despite having half the resources and worse circumstances than you had.”
The bottom line is that older generations, who had comparatively better circumstances in the past, are often criticized for their perceived failure in adequately raising their children. This criticism arises despite the younger generations’ challenges, who now have to navigate with fewer resources and more adverse conditions.
Resource Scarcity & Economic Struggles
Another factor influencing the decision to delay parenthood is the economic climate faced by Millennials and Gen Z. The content creator asserts that,
“Whom you now just expect to believe that we can do better despite having half the resources and worse circumstances than you had.”
Many young individuals grapple with financial instability, student loan debt, and high living costs, leaving them with limited resources to support a family. The video highlights that the current generations face more challenging circumstances and have access to only half the resources compared to their predecessors.
These factors contribute to their increased worries and hesitations when starting a family.
Factors Behind Declining Birth Rates
The declining fertility rates among Millennials and Gen Z can be attributed to many factors, including generational trauma, economic struggles, shifting social expectations, and environmental concerns.
The TikTok video has sparked a significant discussion, highlighting the complex reasons behind this trend. The experiences and perspectives shared in the video transcript resonate with many young individuals, shedding light on their challenges in starting a family.
In the comments section, an individual shared their experience, noting,
“I grew up hearing abt how much of a burden children are that I started to internalize it early adults don’t make having kids even sound enjoyable….”
Furthermore, someone else joined in, sharing,
“Gov: don’t have kids outside your means us: ok 0 it is Gov: wait, not like that.”
Let’s Look at the Studies
According to the Newsweek article, young adults, mainly from Generation Z and the Millennial generation, are deciding not to have children primarily due to the high cost of living.
This conclusion is based on a poll conducted by Redfield & Wilton Strategies, which found that more than 50% of respondents aged 18-34 from these generations would consider having children if living costs were lower ¹.
This explains that the increasing cost of living, driven by rising inflation, is causing households in the United States to spend more on necessities like food, housing, and transportation.
Concurrently, the U.S. birth rate has been on a downward trend since 2008, and in 2020-2021, deaths even outnumbered births in half of all U.S. states, as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the cost of raising a child has also been increasing. For instance, children born in 2015 are estimated to cost parents an average of $233,610, factoring in costs for food, housing, childcare, and education, among other expenses ².
These costs tend to rise as children age, with teenagers aged 15-17 costing an average of $900 more annually than younger children.
In the poll cited by Newsweek, 30% of all respondents indicated they would consider having a child if the cost of living was lower. However, this sentiment was much stronger among younger respondents.
Specifically, 53% of Gen Z (ages 18-24) and 55% of Millennials (ages 25-34) respondents shared this view. In contrast, only 39% of respondents aged 35-44, who are in the middle ground between Millennials and Generation X, echoed this sentiment.
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This article was produced and syndicated by Viral Chatter.
Martha A. Lavallie
Martha is a journalist with close to a decade of experience in uncovering and reporting on the most compelling stories of our time. Passionate about staying ahead of the curve, she specializes in shedding light on trending topics and captivating global narratives. Her insightful articles have garnered acclaim, making her a trusted voice in today's dynamic media landscape.