Americans want more kids, survey says
Americans are seeing a resurgence in the preference for larger families of three or more children that hasn’t been seen since 1971, according to a Gallup survey. This marks a significant shift from the long-standing belief that one or two children were ideal family sizes.
The survey revealed that 45 % of respondents now favour larger families, with 29 % considering three children ideal, 12 % preferring four, and 2 % each preferring five, six, or more children. In contrast, 47 % believe two or fewer children are ideal, with 44 % favoring two children and 3 % preferring just one. Only 2 % believe that the ideal family should have no children.
Gallup attributes the decline in family size preference to social trends from past decades, such as concerns about a global population explosion, influenced by the now discredited 1968 book The Population Bomb.
Gallup started tracking this data in 1936 and found then that 64 % of Americans wanted at least three children. The preference for three children peaked at 77 % in 1945.
While preferences for family size do not significantly differ between genders, demographic factors change everything. Most groups, from young adults aged 18-29, blacks and Hispanics to Republicans, conservative independents and lower-income earners prefer more children. Democrats, non-religious individuals and the wealthy want fewer children, one or two at most. While location was not included in the poll, anecdotal evidence suggests rural people prefer more children to urbanites.
Terry Schilling, the president of the American Principles Project, sees this resurgence in the desire for larger families as a testament to the enduring value of family, even in the face of societal obstacles. He believes that despite numerous hurdles, the intrinsic beauty of family life continues to inspire Americans to desire children and build strong families.