Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

We, the Majority March 12, 2012

The cover of last week’s TIME magazine (March 12, 2012) boasted “10 Ideas That Are Changing Your Life.” As I read about Idea #1, how living alone is the new norm, I was surprised to come across these words:

“According to 2011 census data, people who live alone–nearly 33 million Americans–make up 28% of all U.S. households, which means they are now tied with childless couples as the most prominent residential family type.”

So, by my math, at least 56 percent of us don’t have children, and similar figures were shown for Canada, Italy, Britain, Sweden, Japan, Russia and South Africa. Whether we are single or part of a couple, we are more prevalent than traditional nuclear families.

Boy, it sure doesn’t feel like it, does it?

I have to say I was surprised to see these figures. But as childless, childfree, unchilded people (whatever you want to call us) we are, in fact, the norm.

Knowing this is not going to change people’s attitudes, at least not just yet, but if anyone should tell you that being childfree isn’t normal, feel free to whip out these numbers and set them straight.

 

Census data show childfree households are majority June 24, 2011

Courtesy: LA Times

Yesterday morning I shuffled out to my front porch to pick up the newspapers. My sleepy curiosity jumped to attention when I saw the cover headline of the LA Times:

“Data show state families changing.”

Above the headline was a row of pie charts showing that, according to the 2010 U.S. census figures, 26.0% of California households are married couples with no children, up 4% since 2000. Surprising, but not shocking until you compare this with the data on nuclear families (defined as a household with a married couple of the opposite sex, and children). These families make up only 23.4% of households, down a whopping 10% since 2000.

This means that, as a childfree couple, Mr. Fab and I are in the majority around here. As the article says: “Today, California is a stark reflection of a new dynamic; the traditional Hallmark card image is hardly obsolete, but it is the minority.”

I hope this means that, as this trend continues (and I predict it will), we childfree people will come to be seen as the norm and no longer the odd, misunderstood creatures we are now.

 

 
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