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Millennial spokesperson, twerker, and singer Miley Cyrus ranted to Elle magazine in a recent, revealing that her generation didn’t want to have kids because of the poor state of the environment.
“The earth is angry,” she told the magazine. “…We just take and take and expect it to keep producing. And it’s exhausted. It can’t produce. We’re getting handed a piece-of-sh*t planet, and I refuse to hand that down to my child. Until I feel like my kid would live on earth with fish in the water, I’m not bringing in another person to deal with that. We [Millennials] don’t want to reproduce because we know that the earth can’t handle it.”
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Whew! It’s true that Millennials are having fewer children as a generation. Women are having 1.8 children today, down from 3.7 in 1960, according to the Census Bureau.
Let’s look at the reasons why other than the environment and the state of the fish in the sea.
They feel uncertain about the future
Last May, when the news came out from the CDC that the birthrate had plunged to a 32-year low in 2018, Dowell Myers, a demographer at the University of Southern California,
told NPR, “The birthrate is a barometer of despair.” In short, a low birthrate means people have a negative outlook on the future, whether it be political, jobs-related, or financial.
Student loan debt
Women owe two-thirds of student loan debt. A 2018 report said that 44% of Millenial women are putting off having children because of their student loans.
It just isn’t on their list of ambitions
The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2019, a report on 13,416 Millennials surveyed across 42 countries and found that Millennials had shifting priorities from previous generations. On a list of ambitions, “travel and see the world” ranked at #1. Other goals included career, buying a home, and making a positive impact on their community. Having a child or starting a family ranked dead last.
They marry later
According to a recent eHarmoney report conducted by Harris Interactive, Millennials spent six and a half years getting to know each other before getting married, compared with five years for any other age group.
The Mommy Penalty
With very real stories in the media of careers being hijacked by women who leave work to have a child and come back to a diminished job path, Millennial women don’t want to be the next casualty.
They can’t decide, but they’ll tell you right after they finish a class that helps them figure it out
The existence of a four-month online course geared towards helping Millennials decide on whether or not they wanted to have kids made a big splash last winter.
Basically, for too many Millennials, their economic and career situation is not favorable for them to have children.
Here’s a chart of a 2018 New York Times poll of an exhaustive list of reasons young adults aren’t having kids. (Psst – Miley, “climate change” is in there at 11%).