Children Economics

J and I made a conscious decision not to have children for various reasons.  One of the biggest reasons is because we didn’t want to be ‘tethered’ to an anchor.  Call it a lack of maturity or sense of responsibility, but we do cherish our freedom to do whatever on a whim, be it traveling or vegging out during the weekends.  Another added benefit is obviously financial.  The US Department of Agriculture (why the USDA is responsible for determining this figure is beyond me; I thought they just rated beef quality, but that’s beside the point) determined that the cost of raising one child from birth to age 18 ranges between $221,000 and $367,000, depending on the household income level.  That figure alone is enough for some couples to second guess whether it is worth having a child or not.  Most would argue that you can’t put a price tag on the joy of hearing the pitter patter of little feet running in the house, and I agree.  But the evidence is seen in the 2008-2009 birth rate.  During the peak of this recession, the US birth rate fell for the first time this decade. In his recent satirical opinion piece, Ben Stein, a lawyer/economist/actor, concluded that in the majority of cases, the ROI was not favorable to having children, and as a result, US birth rates are not keeping up with the aging population.  Unfortunately, we can’t rely on the Duggard family to pull us through this crisis. 

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