Today, roughly one in five women in the U.S. doesn't have children. Thanks in part to this decline in birthrate, for the first time in U.S. history, there may soon be more elderly people than children.
Based on trends in costs, it's evident why many families are choosing to have fewer children – or in some cases, no children at all.
The cost of having children in the U.S. has grown exponentially since the 1960s, when the government first started collecting data on childhood expenditures. Between 2000 and 2010, the cost shot up by 40 percent.
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As of 2015, American parents spend, on average, US$233,610 on child costs from birth until the age of 17, not including college. This number covers everything from housing and food to childcare and transportation costs. As a mother myself, as well as a sociologist who studies families, I have experienced firsthand the unexpected costs associated with having a child.
This spike costs has broad implications, affecting everything from demographic trends and human capital to family consumption.