Is it just, me or in your experience, are more people having bigger families these days?

(25 Posts)
Misfitless Sun 02-Feb-14 07:12:33

When I was at school (I'm late 30s now,) almost all my peers had one sibling. There were a few exceptions. Three of my friends at high school came from families of three or more, and there were two families at my primary school with 3 or more siblings. I knew of one child who was an only child. My primary and secondary schools were both huge compared to the schools my DCs now attend.

Now, in my DCs' very small primary school I can think of 6 families with 3 or more children, and another 6 families who have 3 or more children either at high school, or who have just left high school.

I also know many families with only one child.

I did hear recently that the average number of children
per family is no longer 2.2, but statistics very often don't reflect my life in many cases. Is this the experience of anyone else?

Just curious! TIA.

Mumof3xx Sun 02-Feb-14 07:14:10

We have three

I know three people my age who also have three (not close friends though) and work with someone who has four

Aside from them the majority I know have just one or two

GoodnessIsThatTheTime Sun 02-Feb-14 07:23:43

Have you moved income group/status since childhood.

We've moved around a bit over the last few years and it seems either end of the spectrum have large families (wealthy/large house/etc) or the poorer end of society. The Middle middle seems to still have 2. Although that could be just or experience!!!

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 02-Feb-14 07:25:43

I have 3 and was commenting to my sister the other day that so many people have 3 children now.

But I agree with Goodness re. who is having 3 or more children. Also, all the people I know who have 3, well number 3 wasn't exactly planned!

ThisIsYourSong Sun 02-Feb-14 07:33:15

Yes apparently you are more likely to have three these days if you have more money.

Or in our case if you are a bit lax with contraception...

ThisIsYourSong Sun 02-Feb-14 07:33:56

Hah, as you were MrsCampbellBlack

Mumof3xx Sun 02-Feb-14 07:37:04

I wouldn't say we are at the wealthy or the poorer end of society

We probably fall into the lax about contraception category though!

Misfitless Sun 02-Feb-14 08:13:46

grin about accidents and being lax!

Mumof3xx how does that compare to your own peer groups when you were at school, though? (If you don't mind me asking.)

Mmm Goodness not sure whether I've moved income group/status since childhood...I think my parents possibly had more disposable income, but me and DH are probably in the same social group as when we were youngsters, although educated to a higher level. We aren't wealthy and we both live in slightly smaller houses than when we were growing up.

About being lax...why are more people being 'lax' than when I was growing up, I wonder?

Of the families I know with children at school now, two families with 3 or more have one doctor as a parent. One has an accountant (I think,) one is a marine biologist, and two of the families are on benefits. The other families are like us...normal income (if there is such a thing) and definitely not wealthy.

Thanks for your responses

Mumof3xx Sun 02-Feb-14 08:21:35

Out of my closest friends in school

3 have 3dc
1 has 1dc
3 have 0

I now rarely see or speak to any of them though!

Mumof3xx Sun 02-Feb-14 08:22:28

If you meant do the fall into wealthy or poorer, they are probably mixed of in the middle and poorer

FamiliesShareGerms Sun 02-Feb-14 08:24:34

I agree with Goodness that the families I know with three or more children either have very large salaries or are in receipt of benefits.

Misfitless Sun 02-Feb-14 08:26:07

And when you were growing up, how many of your friends had more than one sibling?

For me, very few of the people in my school had more than one sibling, but my DCs have several friends with two or more siblings IYSWIM?

People generally seem to be much more 'lax' these days wink

Mumof3xx Sun 02-Feb-14 08:27:48

I had two friends with 3 siblings each

One was wealthy one was not

I grew up an only child although I do have half siblings out there

juneau Sun 02-Feb-14 08:30:18

Of the families I know it is usual to have one, two or three children and we privately educate so see the wealthier end of the spectrum.

A good friend of mine who lives in a small village though (she has three children), said their family was small by village standards and that anything up to six children was quite normal! So perhaps it depends where you live, as well as the wealth of your peer group.

NAR4 Sun 02-Feb-14 20:15:27

3 children seems to be fairly common now but so does choosing to have none. The average number of children is now meant to be 1.7. I don't know many families with more than 3 children.

QueenofKelsingra Wed 12-Feb-14 10:00:08

most of my friends had one sibling growing up. the one who had 2, the youngest was an accident.

I am the only one with 3dc out of my friendship group now but I did get a BOGOF deal with the DTs! those that have had a second all say they are done now. I think I probably count as being in the middle of the middle money wise!

we are planning DC4 though....

MultipleMama Mon 17-Feb-14 16:03:44

The people I want to school with usually had 1-2 sibling and were middle class. My parents were wealthy and only had my brother, Ivan and I. My friend has 3 siblings and is middle class. DH and I make less than my dad put together and we have 6 two were BOGOF like queen grin.

So I wouldn't say it was mostly due to classes. I think prices may have played a bigger part. Say a couple with 3 who live in Yorkshire can afford 3 and maybe one more but if they moved to London they may barely manage to afford the 3 they have.

Or a couple have 3 in London and can afford it, they move to Yorkshire and can afford maybe 2 more. Am I making sense? not sure if I understood myself Am I even on topic?! --I'll shut up now!

I don't really concern myself with how much the population is growing! Haha. As long as they can afford their DC it doesn't bother me.

MultipleMama Mon 17-Feb-14 16:10:35

But saying all that I don't class 2-3 DC as a larger family to me that's an average family.

ThinkIMmad Mon 17-Feb-14 23:15:22

Im 29 and eldest of 5 in my local primary school we attended there was 1 other family who had 5 children but there was a fair few with 3 or 4. My background growing up was my father did have a decent enough job mum was a house wife with part time jobs in between we were never rich never got an holiday or anything like that but we never went hungry.

The area we live atm there are quite alot 4 bedroom housing assosiation homes near by so at my kids school there is a fair few families who are on 4-6 kids.

Im on 4 myself ds1 and dd2 were happy accidents the 1 we planned we ended up with twins just my luck so guss we cheated a bit. Our situation is very much similar to my childhood really. My dh had a totally different upbringing to me he has an older sister his mum had aged 16, and then went on to have him when she married his dad. They have both always had good jobs and have a lovely lifestyle to show for it now but his mum says she regrets stopping at 2 but at the time she wanted to get away from the teenage mother stigma and concentrate on her career, she said she always planned on having a 3rd when she was around 30 and comfortable in her career but once the time came decided against it as the age gap ould of been too big.

BackforGood Mon 17-Feb-14 23:29:42

The opposite, IME - I recall lots of friends being one of 4 or 5 when I was a child, but can't think of more than a couple of families that have that many children now, that I know of.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Wed 26-Feb-14 00:12:36

Agree that the wealthy with large houses tend to have 3 to four, not usually more than four though. The lower end of the financial spectrum also more likely to have have 3 plus and easily up to 7 or so children. The working class and middle earners tend to stick to two, three at a push. So how large the families seem depend on which group you knock around with, ime.

dottyaboutstripes Wed 26-Feb-14 17:55:21

A lot of families where I live seem to have 3. We have 6 (and would have pots of cash without all these kids wink) and one of my sons is in a class where there's another family with 6 and one with 7. I guess that must be fairly unusual?

BingoWingsBeGone Wed 26-Feb-14 18:01:17

OP, my experience mirrors yours - friends at school pretty much all were 2 siblings. One of my friend's had twin sisters and that was about it

Lots of school families have 3 and I have friends with 3. One person I know has 12!

RufusTheReindeer Wed 26-Feb-14 18:01:26

Three is very common in my area, a few with four and I know of one family with 5 one with 6 and one with 12 plus (not well but all have attended the same school

I have three and we wanted four originally

lovelymumof4 Wed 26-Feb-14 18:42:26

I have 4 children. At the primary school where my 2 youngest attend there are about 6 other families with 4 kids and 2 families with 5 children.

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