Future of Family in COVID-19

Nearly a quarter of Americans (24%) say that before the COVID0-19 pandemic, they were planning to have children within the next 5 years. Who was most likely to be planning?

  • Men are more likely than women (30% vs 19%).
  • Nearly half of Gen Z/Millennials (49%).
  • Americans who rent their current primary residence are more likely than those who own their residence (29% vs 23%).
  • Urbanites are more likely than those who live in a suburban or rural area (38% vs 20% and 12%, respectively). 

While (58%) of Americans who were planning to have children within the next 5 years before the COVID-19 pandemic began to say the pandemic has made them less likely to want to have children, (42%) say it has made them more likely to want to have children.

  • Gen Z/Millennials are more likely than Gen X to say the pandemic has made them less likely to want to have children (65% vs 49%)
  • Suburbanites are more likely than urbanites to say the pandemic has made them less likely to want to have children (66% vs 53%)
  • Gen Xers are more likely than Gen Z/Millennials to say the pandemic has made them more likely to want to have children (51% vs 35%)
  • Urbanites are more likely than suburbanites to say the pandemic has made them more likely to want to have children (47% vs 34%)

Reason being…

  • Over half of Americans who say the COVID-19 pandemic has made them less likely to want to have children (55%) say it is because they are uncertain about how long the virus will be around.
    • (46%) of Americans say it is because they don’t want to bring a child into the world right now.
    • (44%) of Americans say it is because of the uncertainty of the economy.
    • Nearly 2 in 5 Americans (37%) say it is because of loss of income during the pandemic.
    • Nearly 3 in 10 Americans say it is because they are unsure if childcare will be available or affordable (29%) and want to be able to focus more on their existing family (28%).

A majority of parents (83%) say the COVID-19 pandemic has made them less likely to want to have more children, while nearly a fifth of parents (17%) say it has made them more likely to want to have more children. 

  • Women who are parents are more likely than men who are parents to say the pandemic has made them less likely to want to have more children (89% vs 76%)
  • Parents with an annual HHI of $50k-$75k are more likely than parents with an annual HHI of $75k+ to say they COVID-19 pandemic has made them less likely to want to have more children (89% vs 77%).

Parents who live in a suburban or rural area are more likely than parents who live in an urban area to say the pandemic has made them less likely to want to have more children (88% and 92% vs 71%)

Methodology
This survey (Wave 11) was conducted online within the U.S. by The Harris Poll from May 8 – 10 among a nationally representative sample of 2,030 U.S. adults.