According to a Pew Research Center survey, only about a quarter of American adults say having children or being married is extremely or very important to living a fulfilling life.
“When asked what it takes to lead a fulfilling life, the public prioritizes career satisfaction and friendship over marriage and parenthood. About 71 percent of all adults say it is extremely or very important to have a job or career they enjoy in order to live a fulfilling life. And 61% say having close friends is just as important,” according to the survey. of 5,073 American adults, conducted between April 10 and 16 and published in September.
In contrast, only 26% say that having children and 23% say that being married is “extremely or very important” for fulfillment. A third say each is “fairly important,” while 42% and 44% say having children or being married are “not too or not at all important.”
According to a new Pew survey: Participants rated marriage as somewhat weak when it comes to having a fulfilling life. pic.twitter.com/c8vRbJ2puI
– Alexandre (@datepsych) September 18, 2023
“Having a lot of money is considered extremely or very important for a fulfilling life by 24% of adults, while 49% say it is somewhat important. About one in four adults (27%) say it’s not too important or not at all important,” the survey found.
Broken down by political affiliation, Republicans are more likely than Democrats to say that marriage and parenthood are crucial to a fulfilling life; However, voters on both sides are more likely to prioritize career and friends.
Only 15 percent of Democrats say being married is very important to one’s fulfillment, and 19 percent say the same about having children. By comparison, 33 percent of Republicans say the same about having children and getting married (32 percent).
In contrast, 71% of Republicans and those who lean Republican and 72% of Democrats and those who lean Democratic say that “having a job or career that they enjoy” is “extremely or very important to living a fulfilling life.” Sixty-one percent of Republicans and Democrats feel the same way about “having close friends.”
Interestingly, women place more importance than men on enjoyment of work or career (74 percent versus 69 percent), while men place “a little more importance” on marriage and having children.
“About 28 percent of men, compared to 18 percent of women, say that being married is extremely or very important to a fulfilling life. Similarly, 29 percent of men versus 22 percent of women say the same about having children,” according to the survey report.
Not surprisingly, married adults are more likely than unmarried adults to say that marriage is important to living a fulfilling life. Twenty-nine percent of married adults say marriage is extremely or very important to a fulfilling life, compared to 18 percent of those who divorced, separated or became widowed, 15 percent who have never been married and 12 percent who live with their partner. Despite this, married people say that job satisfaction and close friends are more essential to fulfillment than being married.
Similarly, parents are more likely than childless adults to believe that parenthood is important for a fulfilling life.
“About three in ten parents with children of any age (31 percent) say having children is extremely or very important, compared to 18 percent of adults who do not have children,” the report said.
By age group, people aged 65 and older place a greater value on being married and having children, while young adults aged 18 to 29 are more likely than other groups of age (35%) to say that it is extremely or very important to have a lot of money. .
It’s quite graphic https://t.co/ffcpRd10FR pic.twitter.com/gk9T3gM8qA
-Aaron Blake (@AaronBlake) March 27, 2023
The results of the Pew Research survey are similar to those of a Wall Street Journal poll published in March this year. This survey found that Americans don’t consider having children “very important.”
Thirty percent of respondents ranked having children as “very important,” compared to 43 percent in 2019 and 59 percent in 1998, according to the survey. Adults under 30 are below average, with 23% saying it is “very important” to have children. Republicans (38%) were more likely than Democrats (26%) and independents (20%) to say that having children is very important.
At the same time, Americans are increasingly previous or delay marriage and a large percentage of young Americans are single. A survey find that 63 percent of men aged 18 to 29 are single, while only 34% of women in the same age group are single. THE The birth rate in the United States has also increased down out in recent years and has been declining for decades.
Pew Research also found that half of Democrats think having fewer children is “positive” for the environment, and half of young adults think “open marriages” are “acceptable.”
Katherine Hamilton is a politics reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow her on @thekat_hamilton.