Baby Bust: Pandemic Impacts Family Planning

Call it the anti-baby boom. The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted attitudes about family planning for a large portion of Americans. A new report from Lombardo Homes examined which cities are most densely populated with families, and found Houston ranks #2 in the country for highest percentage of families. But the other data in the report signals those families may not be growing in the near future. The report surveyed 800 people about what impact, if any, the pandemic has had on their decisions about family and children. "There are percentages of anywhere between one-third and a quarter of people who are going to have less children, or potentially have less children," says Matt Zajechowski, content strategist who analyzed the data.

Among the survey's findings, 27% of parents say they'll likely have fewer children because of the pandemic, and 36% of non-parents are less enthusiastic about having children due to the pandemic. "We also found that 45% of couples without children say the pandemic will likely delay them from starting a family," says Zajechowski.

The financial impact of the pandemic is clearly a big part of the impact on families. The survey found 58% of parents say the pandemic has disrupted their savings plan for their children. Other pandemic trends will likely factor in family decisions as well, like more parents pulling kids out of public schools or moving to the suburbs. "It will be interesting to see if this kind of shifts away from city living to more people moving to the suburbs," says Zajechowski. "I'm just curious to see if these are long-term trends or more short-term tied to the pandemic."

Overall, Zajechowski doesn't see the survey results as all that surprising. "We've been in this rut of hard times and bad news for almost a year now, where people are losing jobs and they're short on money," he says. "So they're just skeptical about either bringing kids into the world or expanding the size of their current family."

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