The choice not to start a family is marginal. A sociological survey analyzes the profile of the persons concerned.
In France, 6.3% of men and 4.3% of women have no children, and for them, this is a deliberate choice. A level that remains stable for twenty years. INED and Inserm researchers have tried to analyze the reasons.
According to the study, the choice not to procreate is more common among unmarried than among people living in both. "Voluntary childlessness reported levels are very low among those couple at the time of the survey: 3% for women and 5% of men," the researchers write.
Among single women, they are the most educated who mostly choose not to have children. Among single men, by contrast, "the declared voluntary childlessness is high for all degree levels, but still less for the highly educated."
The desire to "stay free" seems the primary motivation. Eight out of ten people without children say "be good" as well. Financial reasons and health concerns are also raised, but so far less common.
The study notes finally that half of those who do not want children living in couples. In a third of cases, one spouse is already a parent.
- "Staying childless, a choice of life against the tide", Population & Societies, 508, INED, February 2014.
- Fruitful, Inserm and INED Survey, September 2011.