Why Aren’t People Having More Kids?

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“To be a sane and happy parent, you need to be counter-cultural in our family-unfriendly culture,” writes Tim Carney in his forthcoming book Family Unfriendly: How Our Culture Made Raising Kids Much Harder Than It Needs to Be.

Carney, senior columnist at the Washington Examiner, senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and the father of six children, talked with Reason‘s Zach Weissmueller and Liz Wolfe about declining fertility in America and worldwide and why he thinks it’s time for “governments, employers, and other institutions” to “abandon the idea of neutrality and instead take a side: the pro-family side.” They also discussed how governments make it harder to afford large families by implementing counterproductive housing and labor regulations. The conversation delved into the role that technology might play in increasing fertility in the future, the enduring cultural relevance of Mike Judge’s 2006 movie Idiocracy, and their reactions to clips about DINK couples (“double-income, no kids”). 

Watch the full conversation on Reason‘s YouTube channel or on the Just Asking Questions podcast feed on AppleSpotify, or your preferred podcatcher.

Sources referenced in this conversation:

Americans’ ideal family size is smaller than it used to be | Pew Research Center

Childstats.gov—America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2023—Demographic Background

Building the New America: Urban Reform Institute, September 2023

World Fertility Rate 1950-2024 | MacroTrends

World Population Prospects—Population Division—United Nations

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