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Affordability Crisis Forcing Women to Reconsider Having Kids

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Affordability Crisis Forcing Women to Reconsider Having Kids


January 25, 2019
Woman holding child
Photo: Unsplash/Rawpixel

American women are having kids later in life than in previous eras, and a new survey showcases how the current lack of housing affordability is making them wait longer, or opt to not have children at all. 

As part of HuffPost’s Betting The House project, more than 600 respondents were asked to detail their struggle. Naomi Mac Ross is 35 and lives in Long Island, N.Y. with her husband in a one-bedroom basement apartment that costs $1,200 per month. Her husband was laid off a few years ago, and while both have full-time jobs today, they are living paycheck-to-paycheck, and Ross says, “I will not have a child in someone else’s basement." Ross anticipated having a child by this time in her life, and while she is open to adoption, she now has "made peace" with having no children. “I think my husband and I would make really good parents, we just can’t meet those other needs that are necessary to have a child.”

American women are already having kids later in life. Last year, The Atlantic reported that in 2017, birth rates were at their lowest in 30 years, with only women over 40 having more kids than before. People are getting married later — or not at all — which can delay parenthood, and more women are choosing to work further into their careers before starting a family.

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