Americans are the unhappiest they’ve been in more than half a century, and they’re not having children.
According to new data from the General Social Survey highlighted by former Washington Post reporter Christopher Ingraham, just 19 percent of Americans last year said they were “very happy,” down from 31 percent, nearly a third, three years before. Twenty-four percent in 2021 said they were “not too happy.”
Americans are also having fewer children than ever before, with the nation’s birth rate falling for the sixth consecutive year in 2020 to its lowest ever. Just 3.6 million babies were born, according to CDC statistics, down from 3.7 million the year before.
In 2020, a Morning Consult survey showed 1 in 4 adults cited climate change as a motivating reason to remain childless. A study published by The Lancet in September found nearly 40 percent of Gen Zers aged 16-25 across 10 countries including the United States, said climate change made them hesitant to have kids. Many Americans of childbearing age are even preemptively self-sterilizing.
As civic institutions hollow out, breeding a generation of isolated millennials content to quarantine in their bedrooms and live online, the underlying message a depressed and childless society sends is that life is so miserable, who would want to live it? The planet so exhausted (it’s not), who would want to receive it? And if the baby has down syndrome, might as well abort it.
A happy population is one that flourishes with procreation, so enamored by its miracle that it chooses to pay it forward with pride so that future generations may experience the same gift. That no matter its trials, life is worth living, and it’s worth bestowing onto others.
Instead, life’s rejection of the unborn out of spite for an allegedly evil and crumbling civilization is a signal of deep-seated anguish on the rise today.
Full story at The Federalist.
Societies without kids are selfish and there’s no happiness in living a me me me life.
Having kids does not make you happy.
And who said happiness was the goal of life. (OK, yes, Kim Kardashian West said that.)
She had 4 kids and she is divorcing their dad because she isn’t happy.
That’s in the you are
Only 19% of people were very happy in the year of the pandemic with all the problems in crime, deaths in the family, sickness in the family etc.
And you think it is because they are not having kids?
Maybe the 19% are the people who don’t have kids.
Also reported that they are the unhappiest they have been in more than half a century. That would be sometime before 1971. So people were more unhappy before the 1970s. Maybe it was color TV. Then there were the 1980s-cable TV. Then came the Internet but I think that has backfired. Because instead of going to things that make them happy, people go on things that crank them up and make them mad.
And now, people actually have their kids home more. They probably have to let the kids use the computer when they really want to do something on it.
Also, people were more happy during the Trump presidency than the Biden presidency. Who’d da thunk?
Having a baby can bring you lots of joy. It is probably one of the most joy-filled moments you will ever have. But it is also filled with stress. And sometimes grief.
Your problems don’t really begin until you have kids. Unless you get kidnapped or shot or get a crippling disease.
If you want to be happy, watch TV or stream a happy show. Unless you have kids. Then you have to watch them.
Praying and reading the Bible works too.
Taiwan has the lowest fertility rate in the world and is ranked #24 on the world happiness survey. It is the happiest country in Southeast Asia.
so does Finland … and the Finns are listed as the “happiest people on the planet”. The Finns themselves admit that they’re actually a nation of dour and singular people, not given to socializing whatsoever.
I clicked the link. The survey started in 1972. Ok so rather than saying Americans are more unhappy than they have been in a half-century it would be more accurate to say that Americans are the most unhappy since the survey began.
Main reasons given by millennials who don’t have children:
No desire to have kids
Focus on career
A reminder-if you are a Catholic and you do not want children, you cannot marry in the Church.
Then you are looking at being a priest or a religious or living a single life dedicated to God.
Those are the options for you.
Or you can marry outside the church, like in the other story.
That is a mortal sin.
And what happens if a couple cannot have children due to sterility? Are they less Catholic? Are they less worthy of God’s blessings? My parents could not bear children, so they adopted me and my sister. One person in the church dared to say to my parents something akin to that they couldn’t have kids because when they were younger, they probably sinned and thus God is punishing them. Then the same person who knew me as an adoptee also knew I was born out of wedlock, and made comment that I was destined to be bad, would never enter Heaven, all because of my bastard status. How Old Testament, how judgmental. I had loving parents who raised us in the Church, and both my sister and I as adults are giving, loving, and happy. We’ve both married, and raised our children, and now spoil our grandchildren. So “me” should carefully consider how you phrase your words. Additionally, you cite no reference to check your exclamation … So can someone who knows they’re sterile due to some disease or accident able to marry, knowing they can’t have children? Geez, how medieval.
You can marry in the Church if you are sterile. You are not choosing to not have children and if God works a miracle like he did for Sarah and Elizabeth you would accept the children.
If you do not want children, you cannot marry in the Church.
You can not enter into a sacramental marriage with the intention of not having children.
I am sorry for the bullying that you suffered. I am glad that things turned out well for you.
Fewer babies correlates with increasing unhappiness.
Correlation is not causality.
onceagain: Actually you are wrong, it does
very many “well-defended”
Alright, as a high school Chemistry teacher, I have some qualms with the conclusion the author propones. First, it’s timeliness… a study from 1972 is applicable to 2022? Are all the variables accounted for all the variables so that ONLY the lack of children is the only cause of unhappiness? As I teach my students, “demand evidence and think critically”. My students would have a field day with this survey!
“Correlation is not causality.”
Did anyone here assert that?
Hey Good B@stard:
You and your parents encountered a real jerk.
A Catholic jerk.
I don’t read where anybody here is advocating
the kinds of stuff your jerk acquaintance laid on you.
One of my best friends (St. Martin de Porres)
was a b@stard; as was Alec Guiness and more
currently Justin Castro Trudeau
My wife and I were blessed with 5 children within a 7yrs streach.Things were tight for a while.I went many years without a vacation.Now our children range in age from 38 to 45.They all love oneanother and have expressed their thanks for the large family to witch they belong.All of us continued to work throught the covid crisis (some comming down with covid,some not)None of were affraid to live our lives fully.We know that God is in charge and will not let anything happen to us outside of His will for us.Be at peace my brothers and sisters.
Plenty of young Catholics would like to marry and start a family, but the church isn’t helping them meet each other.
This is anecdotal evidence, but I think many of you have observed and experienced the same:
Most people smile when they see children (at the park, at Mass, etc.). I’ve never met a parent with multiple children who wished they didn’t have their youngest. Most of those I know and have observed without children appear less happy, especially as they age. Nothing has given my wife and I greater joy than seeing our children and grandchildren. Of course, this isn’t to say that those without children cannot be happy. They can. We’ve seen that especially with priests and religious who’ve embraced their vocations and the attendant spiritual fatherhood or motherhood as well as with other unmarried persons who’ve done the same and couples who haven’t been able to have children.
“How can there be too many children? That is like saying there are too many flowers.” ~ Saint Teresa of Calcutta
“Children are a gift from the Lord.” Psalm 127:3
I’ve met parents with multiple children that wish they had none.
I knew a man who was older that really resented that his wife was trying to compete with her sisters on how many kids she could have and they ended up with the last one dead and the mother in medical crisis, He was regretful of how many kids he had. He loved them all and he would never pick one to not have had, but the impact on his life was that he had to stay in a corporate job that he hated to keep the family fed. He would have liked to have stayed in the same town as his parents but he couldn’t because there was not employment there and by the time he got his degree, he already had 3 kids. But it did allow him to get away from the toxicity of his wife’s family.
Having kids is a lot of work and a lot of responsibility although there are those “free-range” children whose parents just let them be who they are and do what they want.
I was listening to an interview with the musician Slash talking about how as a teenager, he smoked pot and made fake IDs and got into clubs on the strip. It was a whole different world than now. It is really hard to raise kids now, especially with the Internet and the bullying and the suicides and pressure for grades and getting into college from the time you are 16. It is even harder to be a kid.
Where do you see yourself 60 years from now?
Maybe Heaven. I have to rely on Mary’s intercession.
In the 1950-60s people did not worry every day that some pervert was going to kidnap their child and kill them or sell them into prostitution.
You did not have to worry about school shootings or shootings at Church, playgrounds, concert bombings etc.
You did not have to worry about road rage and whether their own parent would kill them.
You did not have parents on drugs or dead from drugs.
You did not have bullying on the Internet and the resultant suicides. You did have bullying at school but people took care of it themselves.
i’m glad my parents never had kids