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To think Americans have more only children?

(39 Posts)
fairybeagle Thu 04-Apr-19 16:33:02

It seems that Americans seem more likely to have a single child and that it's more of a norm there? Does anyone know if this is correct?
What sort of attitudes do Americans have towards only children? Less negative than other countries?

OutOntheTilez Sat 06-Apr-19 13:02:20

Speaking of TV/movie portrayals, they always seem to have a big age gap between kids, like a ten yr old and a baby?

I always figured they do that as a plot device. Is the show going downhill / on its last leg? Write in a newborn.

fairybeagle Sat 06-Apr-19 12:40:15

Yes @fromnowhere that's another thing I thought about, the age gap. But I suppose as pp say it's tv not real life. Although maybe a grain of truth in there somewhere.

LostInShoebiz Sat 06-Apr-19 10:00:13

They also always have stuff happen to them in TV shows. It’s not real life; it’s to drive the plot as efficiently as possible.

fromnowhere Sat 06-Apr-19 09:19:00

Speaking of TV/movie portrayals, they always seem to have a big age gap between kids, like a ten yr old and a baby? I assumed that was due to the costs involved in having a baby as well. Not sure if it's common but it seems so in tv?

TheVanguardSix Sat 06-Apr-19 09:08:39

Yet fewer USAians go to uni than UKians, so I'm not sure why that makes sense.

You just clarified my point that it’s a fecking bomb to go to uni. So this is why many Americans don’t have big families. They want 2 kids at a good uni. Not 5 kids doing night school.
I am one of your USians who didn’t go to uni in the States because I was DC3 and the petty cash box had a hole in it by the time I was ready to go. In 1990, my parents didn’t have the means to pay off the £100k loan for what would have been my 4 year tuition at the liberal arts university I was going to attend.

fairybeagle Fri 05-Apr-19 21:37:15

No I don't have any stats to back it up @BloodyDisgrace it was just an observation really, although to be honest I was sort of basing it on portrayals of American families in the movies and tv so not a very educated assumption!

I didn't even think about cost really, that's an eye opener. Can't believe the happy meal/bell pepper analogy, that's crazy!!

I sort of thought it was more down to life style, as someone mentioned above, extra curricular activities and such.

honeylulu Fri 05-Apr-19 11:03:10

It seems to be more common in America to have an only child if the parents are uni educated professionals. My husband is American by birth (though lived here since he was 6). Most of his relatives in the US have just one child.

outpinked Fri 05-Apr-19 10:53:56

It’s too expensive over there to have a child and Mother’s are only allowed six weeks maternity leave. I wouldn’t have children if I lived in the USA.

francienolan Fri 05-Apr-19 10:51:06

I am an only child and American. My parents had several miscarriages after I was born, rather than deciding they were one and done. But I can see why a lot of families only have one there now. It costs a lot even with health insurance to have a baby, and then you aren't guaranteed paid time off. My last company there gave 4 months and this was generous for there!

Also groceries are more expensive particularly fruit and veg. A single bell pepper costs the same as a happy meal, where I grew up (I grew up in an expensive place, granted). So it isn't like here where you can get good groceries for quite cheap.

Uni also costs a lot. If I hadn't had a scholarship I couldn't have gone. I was lucky to have a scholarship at all, most people take out huge loans!

TheFlis12345 Fri 05-Apr-19 09:49:57

My American friend and her husband always wanted 3 or 4 kids. She got pregnant with twins and they were premature, both had a couple of months in hospital but are now fine. Their medical bill, after insurance, was over $2million, which they will still be paying off when the kids are in college. They will never be able to afford to have another child.

BloodyDisgrace Fri 05-Apr-19 09:44:49

Do you have any interesting statistics to back this up, OP, or is it just your observation?
I'd be surprised if they do, because abortion situation can be quite barbaric in a lot of states; health insurance, I read, sometimes doesn't cover contraception, so what do they do then if they become pregnant when they didn't want to? You'd think with all that shoddy reproductive health provision and wide spread religious attitudes they would have a one more child? ... Even in Britain every 4th of 5th child is unplanned - I read something to that tune long ago and don't remember the full statistics. Basically, what I'm saying, even here, with more liberal attitudes, people often have children they didn't want to in the first place; so how a country with worse attitudes can afford plenty of 1 child families is a mystery to me... And people do get pregnant while using contraception.

VladmirsPoutine Thu 04-Apr-19 21:35:06

By virtue of population I imagine that would be the case.

HeresMe Thu 04-Apr-19 21:33:36

Good that people are having less children, we need less people on the planet, for environmental reasons alone.

sirfredfredgeorge Thu 04-Apr-19 21:19:46

Going to uni is more important to us Americans

Yet fewer USAians go to uni than UKians, so I'm not sure why that makes sense.

I think a lot of the comments on US people in this thread are about "rich" educated white families living in the north east or California, and not at all representative of the large differences in other areas.

HuntingHeffalumps Thu 04-Apr-19 19:19:28

The few families I know, spread out across the states, seem to pursue extra curricular activities to a higher level and more diligently than over here. That's got to cost.

Acedotes are not data of course but you couldn't do that with multiple children.

Unfinishedkitchen Thu 04-Apr-19 18:32:52

Going to the best universities in America costs a bomb.

Also I’m unaware of negative attitudes towards one child families other than from the usual simpletons who can’t understand why someone would do something differently from themselves.

Tealtights Thu 04-Apr-19 18:19:23

@SemperIdem I always put it down to "lazy" writing not wanting too many siblings creating need for more actors, scenes etc lol.

SemperIdem Thu 04-Apr-19 18:17:21

Not sure about real life, but in a great many American tv show’s and films. they seem to have one child. Which suggests it is more of a norm in reality, perhaps.

TheVanguardSix Thu 04-Apr-19 18:17:11

Going to uni is more important to us Americans. Where you go to university is a big topic of conversation and it defines us. So being able to send our kids to school is hugely important in a way that it's not here in the UK. And sending kids to university in the States is shockingly expensive. You can't send 4-5 kids through university unless you are wealthy or you have access to every grant/scholarship available.

Bagpuss5 Thu 04-Apr-19 18:15:20

Mormons have big families.

PlainSpeakingStraightTalking Thu 04-Apr-19 18:10:00

How is anything calculated these days ?

A and B have one child
A and C have one child
B and D have one child

Within that dynamic, there is the possibility that each household may or may not have a child residing with them

sirfredfredgeorge Thu 04-Apr-19 18:06:46

er single CHILD families.

sirfredfredgeorge Thu 04-Apr-19 18:04:49

Stats appear to show more single parent families in the UK.

Purpleartichoke Thu 04-Apr-19 17:59:38

The average number of children per family is linked to socioeconomic status. Couples with degrees and well-paying jobs tend to have fewer children. This is partly because that group on average places a strong emphasis on education. It is also linked to the career costs of multiple children.

Ironically poorer families tend to have more children . They are less likely to help their child with education costs and already have a parent not working or working odd hours because child care is more than one parents take home salary so there is no financial gain from working.

LostInShoebiz Thu 04-Apr-19 17:58:35

Wouldn’t you be reluctant if it potentially cost a quarter million to educate them?

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