Child-free by choice: Why more people are deciding not to have children

A man looks at his phone while a woman knits while lounging.
More people say they don’t plan on having children, and they are making that decision for a variety of reasons, from climate change to simply not wanting kids.
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

The birth rate in the United States declined for the sixth straight year in 2020, and according to the Pew Research Center, more people say they don’t plan on having children

People are making that choice for a variety of reasons. Some are concerned about having children because of instability caused by climate change, political division and the COVID-19 pandemic. Others are concerned about the cost of child care, health care and education. And others are content being child-free and have no desire to have kids. 

MPR News host Angela Davis talks with a sociology professor and an author about why more people are choosing not to have children. 


  • Donna Freitas is a novelist and professor. Her most recent book is “The Nine Lives of Rose Napolitano.”

  • Amy Blackstone is a professor of sociology at the University of Maine and the author of the book “Childfree by Choice: The Movement Redefining Family and Creating a New Age of Independence.”

Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.

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