Millennials (born 1981-1999, aka Generation Y) have already broken so many rules. They are the first generation that doesn’t want to invest in property, hold a lifetime career, or get married. More than that, nowadays, experts call Millennials a ‘kidless generation.’ In fact, according to data provided by PDPlay, one-third of young people in modern society don’t want to become parents. A few decades ago, people who didn’t want kids were called ‘childfree.’ In 2019, they don’t need a particular term since they are in the majority now.
Every case is individual. However, there are a few common points that help Millenials make this choice.
The latest study reveals that the cost of living has gone up during the past years. Despite the expanded job market and higher education, a lot of Millennials have low-income jobs and can barely make ends meet. Also, young people are struggling to pay off their student debts. Forty-four million Millenials owe $1.5 trillion in total. An entrepreneur and Forbes journalist Zack Friedman called the situation a national crisis.
How can a young woman want to start a family knowing that she needs to pay off the loan that has topped six figures (it is actually a case for 1.1 million people in the United States)? That’s another reason why Millennials delay marriage. They don’t want to take responsibility for paying off someone else’s debts. An interesting fact is that there is a high percentage of young people who believe that they will die with debts.
It is important to mention that a lot of Millennials gave up hope of ever retiring. Finance experts have calculated that Social Security will run out in 30 years. It means Millennials will keep working till the very end in case they don’t manage to save some money while they are still in working age. That’s why having a baby is not a part of the plan in most cases.
In 2018, the journalists of The Street Journal calculated how much it costs to raise a child in the United States. According to their data, raising a kid from birth to age 18 would cost one family over $240. 000, let alone babysitters, medical insurance, and higher education. As you can understand, most Millennials can’t afford to have ‘another mouth to feed.’
The best-educated generation
It is a slippery slope, but it is worth mentioning that Millennials are more educated than previous generations since technology has increased their access to information.
The best thing is that young people have an opportunity to keep educating themselves and enhance their careers. In Western countries, modern women are not prevented from pursuing higher education. Furthermore, society doesn’t judge those who choose a job over the family like it was in the 60s. The list of successful childless women includes Oprah Winfrey, Betty White, Kim Cattrall, Ellen Degeneres, Julia Gillard (Australia’s first female Prime Minister), and Elizabeth Gilbert. Avoiding awkward questions was difficult in the 80s, but Generation Y will never question their choice.
Education gave freedom of choice. Western society overcame slavery and forced marriages, allowed abortions, and gave the right to sexuality. Not having babies is just another choice that Millennials are allowed to make. And no authority could influence that decision.
Modern young people are focused on their own satisfaction, and it makes them unique. The previous generations were in constant need during the war, famine, and financial crises. Now we are relatively safe and can cover basic needs on our own.
Young people have endless opportunities, and they don’t want to miss anything. Millennials want to have the job they love, travel, and gain experience. Most of them think short-term; that’s why they rent, change jobs all the time, and don’t invest in the future. According to the latest study conducted by the National Institute on Retirement Security, more than 60% of people between the ages of 21 and 31 don’t have savings at all.
Millennials want to live outside of the system and be truly free. In the pursuit of their desires, they don’t want to take responsibility for children. They want to break a pattern that previous generations had and simply be happy. There is no answer, whether it is selfish or not.
‘We have time’
Millennials have better medicine compared to their grandparents. It is not a secret that life expectancy continues to increase with each generation. Some women can have a healthy pregnancy in their 40s. In 2017, the world’s most admired companies such as Facebook, Google, and Apple offered their female employees the chance to freeze their eggs, so that they could delay childbirth and focus on their careers.
That’s why it would be more reasonable to ask Millennials about kids in their late thirties. It is wrong to speak for the whole generation since there are a lot of young people who would love to have a family. They are just not ready yet.