Scary reason young Australians aren’t having children

A new survey has confirmed that fewer and fewer millennials and Gen Zs are childless, and there’s a “scary” reason for that.

More than half of people aged 18 to 34 choose not to have children because of financial difficulties, according to recently published data from Australian research firm The Red Bridge.

Of Australians who choose not to have children, 35 per cent are university-educated and 33 per cent earn more than $3,000 a week.

Almost half of them do not have their own home.

Kos Samaras, director of Red Bridge, said the research is a sign of the times and that young people are financially disadvantaged to the point where they can’t even think of including children in the equation.

“The amount that younger people have to pay on mortgages or rent, they also have HECS debt and are often living beyond their means,” he told news.com.au.

Mr Samaras said he believed young Australians were likely to plan to have children later in life, but it would be “harder” for them until then.

“For previous generations, it took until their 30s to gain financial security, but for Generation Z and millennials, it will take them well into their 40s,” he emphasized.

Finally, Mr. Samaras said that young people should not be dramatic if they do not start a family because it could cripple them financially.

“If you were a financial adviser to these young people, you would say you can’t afford it,” he said.

Influencer Laura Henshaw, 30, is one of those women who delayed having children. In fact, she’s not even sure if she even wants them.

She recently launched an aptly titled podcast Do I want children? and she discussed the issue endlessly and gave real insight into why so many young women are not ready to become mothers.

Ms Henshaw told news.com.au she had spoken to more than 1000 people and one of the main reasons people hesitate to enter parenthood is money.

“One of the main reasons was cost. So many people are worried about renting and having kids and they want to buy before they do,” she said.

The cost of living crisis has also meant that young people are now dependent on two incomes to pay their mortgage or rent.

“Due to the cost of living, most couples rely on both incomes to support their household, which is so different from generations before us where it was much more common to have a stay-at-home parent and a working parent,” she said.

“That’s why many of them are waiting longer, because the disposable income will not be enough to survive, so they need more time to accumulate savings.”

In addition, some parents have even submitted stories to the podcast claiming they wish they had waited to have children because of the “financial burden” it caused them.

For Ms Henshaw, what makes her so nervous about having children is less about the money, because she is in a “lucky” financial position, but the burning question of whether she can juggle a career and being a mum at the same time.

“My biggest fear is, can you do both? Can you have a career and kids? It’s a real fear of becoming inadequate,” she said.

Ms Henshaw said she found she could do both, but she worried that once she became a mother, other people would start to limit her career.

“I don’t want people to make decisions for me. I don’t want people saying ‘Laura can’t take this job, she just had a baby’. People can assume that because someone has a baby they won’t get that job or that promotion and we owe it to women not to assume and ask them,” she said.

Late last year, 33-year-old Australian model Ellie Gonsalves went viral after sharing a list of 117 reasons why she doesn’t want to have children.

She stressed that the list was very “personal,” but after years of being asked why she didn’t want to be a mom, she decided that the extensive list might put a stop to the constant questions.

The list included light-hearted reasons such as “kids can be rude” and more serious explanations such as “they are your responsibility until you die”.

The list caused such massive outrage that she quit Project she justifies her right not to have children.

Ms Gonsalves told news.com.au that despite being clear about her reasons for not having children, she found that other women were not keen on the idea due to current financial pressures.

“From talking to friends, it’s clear that many women are choosing not to have children because of a combination of concerns,” she said.

“When considering having children in the current Australian economy, people face many significant issues such as job insecurity, high cost of living, childcare costs, education costs, work-life balance issues, mental health challenges health, care for the environment, lack of social support, and insufficient government policies.”

Ms Gonsalves said having a baby today is different than it was 20 or 30 years ago.

“Many people find it a big challenge to prepare for their own future while trying to provide a stable and successful environment for their child,” she said.

The Australian model pointed out that while the government may want people in their late twenties and early thirties to return to start-up families, she understands why women are not being sold.

“Treasurer Jim Chalmers recently said he would like to see Australians have more children, that’s great, but how is the government helping to provide an environment where people can comfortably do that given the current economic challenges?” she asked.

“Until there is a more supportive environment, including affordable housing and better economic stability, it is understandable why many people are hesitant to take on the responsibility of raising children.”

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