Unsplash | Marisa Howenstine

Study Finds That Adults Without Children Are Just As Happy As Parents

If you want to start a debate, tell someone (preferably from an older generation) that you don't want to have kids.

In other words, it's a hot topic that often makes child-free folks feel defenseless.

Until now. That's because a new study has found that adults without children are happier.

So shove that in Aunt Linda's face the next time she asks when you're having kids!

Going childless in today's society is nothing new.


The numbers pretty much speak for themselves. In 2020, births in the United States fell to a historic 35-year low.

Younger generations — millennials, in particular — certainly contribute to this. According to the Cassandra Report: Ages and Stages, one-third of millennials don't want to be mothers.

Famous women have helped pave this movement by being refreshingly honest about their desire to forgo parenthood.

Miley Cyrus, for instance, blamed the environment. "We’re getting handed a piece-of-[expletive] planet, and I refuse to hand that down to my child," Cyrus told Elle in 2019.

After years of relentless media speculation over her pregnancy status, Jennifer Anison penned an open letter.

"We are complete with or without a mate, with or without a child," she wrote in The Huffington Post. "We get to decide for ourselves what is beautiful when it comes to our bodies."

Helen Mirren simply put her career first.

"I was always too engaged in my life as an actress," the star told presenter Peter Travers.

"At that time, I couldn't comprehend that you could incorporate a child into that without letting a child down in some way," she said, adding that "it was never an absolute conscious decision."

Even Oprah — one of the most successful women in the world — never felt the pull toward kids.

"I don’t think I would have been a good mother for baby children, because I need you to talk to me, and I need you to tell me what’s wrong," the star said on Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop podcast.

Regular people have also been open about their desire to not have kids.

Unsplash | Marisa Howenstine

On one Reddit thread, users went deep.

One person shared that kids are too expensive while another shared that they lack patience.

"I now work at a place with lots of visitors including screaming rowdy kids and entitled parents. Seeing both, I don’t have patience for kids and I don’t want myself to turn into my kids’ adults," they wrote.

Some people don't want to lose their freedom, which includes getting to travel without worrying about childcare.


My wife and I want to travel and enjoy ourselves. Having a kid means not being able to do all that, and it is just not fun to deal with all the stress that comes with having a kid," Redditor NotBreaking wrote.

As flout as these opinions may be, these childless folks may be onto something.

That's because a new study found that child-free people are as happy as parents.

This was discovered in a study from Michigan State University. Psychology professors Jennifer Watling Neal and Zachary Neal used three questions to identify child-free individuals separately from parents and other types of nonparents.

"After controlling for demographic characteristics, we found no differences in life satisfaction and limited differences in personality traits between child-free individuals and parents, not-yet-parents, or childless individuals," Zachary Neal said.

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They also found that child-free individuals are more liberal than parents and that more than a third of child-free people, 35%, were in a partnered relationship.

The number of child-free people was also surprising.

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They found that over a quarter of adults, 27%, identified as child-free. In comparison, previous studies reported percentages of 2% to 9%.

While these numbers represent Michigan, they believe similar results could be found in other parts of the United States.

Finally, the study found that people who are child-free felt a coolness, or judgement, from parents.

“Because having kids is the norm in the U.S., it’s possible that child-free individuals are viewed as breaking that norm,” Neal said.

Thankfully, these child-free folks are probably too happy to care!

Are you childless and happy with your decision? Share your story below!