Generational differences lead to varied opinions on parenthood
Researchers from Stanford University find that the average age of a new father has increased from 27 to 31 since 1972. A new YouGov poll asks Americans what they think is the ideal age to enter parenthood, and four in ten Americans (40%) believe that the best time is between 26 and 30.
Data from YouGov Omnibus shows that the second most popular answer is between 31 and 35 (25%). More than one in ten Americans (12%) believe that the best age to have kids is in the early 20s, between 21 and 25. Support for new parents past the age of 35 dwindles.
Generational differences plays the largest factor in delayed parenthood. Nearly three in ten older millennials (25 to 34) say the ideal age to become a parent is between 31 and 35. Americans over the age of 55 (46%) say the ideal age is between 26 and 30, coinciding with the median age of first-time parents (27) back in 1972.
America’s youngest adults (18 to 24) are less likely than any other generation to believe that the ideal age for parenthood is between 31 and 35 (21%) or between 26 and 30 (33%). Nearly a fifth (19%) believe that the age range that encapsulates most in their age group – between 21 and 25 – is the ideal time to become a parent. And 6% of young millennials believe the best time to have a child is under 21 years of age.
Income also plays a role in views on parenthood. While the most popular choice on when to enter parenthood among all earners is in one’s late twenties, a third of those who earn more than $80,000 a year (33%) believe that the ideal age is between 31 and 35.
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