Childless and Happy

More

A wave of pretty odd demographic hysteria seems to me to be sweeping across certain precincts of the country lately, a wave whose prophesies of economic doom in particular strike me as curiously unsupported by any kind of vaguely rigorous models or anything. So I appreciate all efforts to calm people down. That said, Ron Bailey's article on how being childless doesn't make people unhappy seemed to me to be a bit wide of the mark insofar as it didn't take into account the perspective of old people at all.

Whatever else raising children may be, it's also an expensive and time consuming pain in the ass that sharply limits your flexibility to do a variety of things for a large number of years. One can easily imagine the joys of parenthood being roughly offset by the burdens. But later in life, having a solid relationship with grownup kids and their children seems low-cost and hard-to-replace. Loneliness is very hard on people. To acknowledge that reality isn't to say we need to get all freaked out if the norm moves from 2-3 kids per family to 1-2 kids per family.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Sad Desk Lunch: Is This How You Want to Die?

How to avoid working through lunch, and diseases related to social isolation.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more

Video

Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.

Video

What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In