EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — A follow-up study confirmed research from Michigan State University that 1 in 5 people who choose not to have children do not regret their decision later in life.
In 2022, MSU released findings that determined that approximately 21.64% of the U.S. population does not have children.
According to the research published in Scientific Reports, understanding childfree adults is important due to how much of the population that they make up.
Childfree adults are distinct from other adults because they explicitly do not want children.
In the latest study, MSU psychology professor Jennifer Watling Neal found that the number of child-free people nationwide was close to the amount of Michiganders who are choosing to be child-free.
A representative sample of 1,000 adults who completed MSU’s State of the State Survey was used to determine a similar statistic.
“We found that 20.9% of adults in Michigan do not want children, which closely matches our earlier estimate of 21.6%, and means that over 1.6 million people in Michigan are child-free,” said Neal.
Zachary Neal, an associate professor of psychology and the study’s co-author, said there aren’t many differences in child-free adults when it comes to age, education and income.
Perhaps to the surprise of some, many of these adults do no regret the decision to not have kids.
“We found no evidence that older child-free adults experience any more life regret than older parents,” she said. “In fact, older parents were slightly more likely to want to change something about their life.”
Both researchers also believe there needs to be more research done on child-free adults, especially since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022.
“States’ restrictions on reproductive health care may result in many people being forced to have children despite not wanting them, which is very concerning,” Neal said.
Both Watling Neal and Neal are investigating if abortion restriction impacts one’s decision to not have children.