10 Reasons Why Educated Professionals Tend to Have Fewer Kids

10 Reasons That Educated Professionals Tend to Have Fewer Kids
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Why do intelligent and financially stable people not want kids? originally appeared on Quora- the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Dave Consiglio, Parent, on Quora:

Why do intelligent and financially stable people not want kids? I have 2 kids. Wanted them, continue to like them, probably won’t give them back to the hospital (in fairness, we took the tags off, so it’s probably just “store credit” or some such garbage…)

That said, I think the question is flawed. I don’t think it’s more intelligent people, but I do think that educated, wealthy people tend to have fewer kids. There are several reasons for this:

  1. Getting educated takes time, and that time tends to be during a very fertile period in a human’s life (18–24).
  2. Once educated, people tend to try and get high-paying careers. This also takes time, and that time tends to be during another very fertile period in a human’s life (25–30).
  3. Babies take around a year each to make. So if you start later, you simply have less calendar real estate to make a bunch of them.
  4. Babies are expensive, and the babies of wealthy people are particularly expensive (that college isn’t going to be free).
  5. Babies take a lot of effort and attention, particularly if you want to raise them the way you were raised, being one of a small number of children in your own well-educated family. In other words, what you grew up with tends to feel “normal”, and if you’re well educated, there’s a decent chance your parents were, too. And there’s also a decent chance you don’t have 12 siblings.
  6. Birth control is expensive. Doctor’s visits, pills, pharmacies, blood tests, etc. For many people, these costs are trivial, but for the poor, birth control can be too expensive to purchase. But people really like practicing the baby-making process, so getting them to abstain is really hard to do.
  7. Among the poor, certain kinds of drug use are more prevalent. These forms of drug use can lead to increased pregnancy rates (from prostitution for drugs and impaired judgement from drugs).
  8. Wealthier, well-educated families are more likely to have 2 parents in the home. Research suggests that children of single parents are more likely to have early pregnancies, and this probably leads to overall higher rates of pregnancy.
  9. Many educated people meet their partners in or after college. Those partners are more likely to be educated themselves, and thus more likely to lean toward “Fewer, Later, Better” as a parenting mantra.
  10. Some high-end careers, like doctors and lawyers, almost always require a late pregnancy due to the massive time constraints early on for people in those (highly-educated) fields.

There’s more going on here, but the short answer is: education tends to make people value financial and domestic stability over having a family. As a result, the educated wait until they have jobs and stable home lives before having kids more frequently than the less educated. Result? Educated people have fewer kids.

This question originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. More questions:

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