Overpopulation is also a major factor in gender inequity, according to many sources. Where there's high birth rates and high poverty rates, the economic value of female children goes down. Yet by the 1980s, child-free living became a symbol of infertility and failure, a symbol that has persisted. This is a pity, considering what a liberating lifestyle option it can be. Obviously, you'll need to review your original reasons for wanting children before you make this choice. You'll also need to research the decision: interview other couples who are living child free and investigate their lifestyle. Interview couples with children and find out how much of their own lives are sacrificed.
Some fertile couples are choosing child-free living because of environmental and financial concerns. Many truly feel the world is an environmental disaster area and do not wish to raise children in a world of questionable health hazards. Other couples find that they can barely meet their bills as it is, and opt not to add more stress to an already badly strained budget. Remember, parenting is a selfless, largely self-sacrificing job. Choosing a child-free lifestyle may be an appealing option in an economically turbulent and difficult world.
Some of the traditional reasons for having children were purely economic. Children, many people thought, guaranteed financial security in old age. Today, with so many college-educated adults living at home because they cannot get jobs, the economic benefits of progeny are no longer visible. And you'll find that most senior-age parents of financially successful children today do not want to be a financial burden and will choose to be independent as long as they can. Another traditional reason for having children was fear of loneliness in one's old age. Twenty years from now, the majority of the population will be over age 65. You won't be lonely.
The Benefits of Child-Free Living
Freedom. You may have the time and extra money down the road for all the things you dreamed of: going back to school for that second degree, buying a vacation home, traveling, early retirement, or whatever you want.