THE DEMOGRAPHIC FATE OF intelligent SPECIES: Polled women want more kids than they actually have. But wouldn't they say the same about salary or vacation?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Polled women want more kids than they actually have. But wouldn't they say the same about salary or vacation?

What funny questions they are asking us!
When surveyed by pollsters, European and U.S. women nearing the end of their fertile years still state an ideal family size that is bigger than the real family they actually have. But if we replaced "family size" by "salary level" or "paid leave days", wouldn't we get the same answer?


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"Fully 87% of women in 27 European Union (EU) member states reported that the ideal family size for them personally is two or more children, according to a 2011 Eurobarometer survey. Some 57% said that two is the ideal, and an additional 30% said three or more is ideal."..."Some 87% of EU men who had a preference also reported that their own ideal family would include two or more children."
"But when it comes to fertility, reality often doesn’t comport with the ideal. Among EU women ages 40 to 54, one-third reported that the number of children they actually have is lower than their personal ideal. This gap in ideal versus actual fertility varies markedly by country. In Denmark, fully 45% of women ages 40 to 54 reported that their actual fertility is lower than their ideal fertility, while at the other end of the spectrum, in Bulgaria just 18% of women near the end of their childbearing years reported that the number of children that they have is lower than their ideal."
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"While the U.S. has been somewhat immune to the low fertility rates that have raised concerns in Europe, actual U.S. fertility also tends to fall below the ideal. Some 52% of American women (who gave numerical responses) said their ideal is two children, and an additional 44% said that three or more children is their ideal. (While 86% of women gave numerical responses to this question, 14% reported that the ideal family size was “as many as [someone] wants.”) But 40% of U.S. women nearing the end of their childbearing years have fewer children than their ideal."
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In child-bearing as in so many other activities, life often doesn't turn out the way we dream it to be. That's why dreams are beautiful. What's new about that?

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