If your neighbors seem depressed, it’s probably because they are.
Americans are the unhappiest they have been in over half a century, and they have no children.
According to new General Social Survey data highlighted by former Washington Post reporter Christopher Ingraham, just 19% of Americans last year said they were “very happy”, compared to 31%, nearly a third, three years ago. Twenty-four percent in 2021 said they were “not too happy.”
Americans are also having fewer children than ever before, with the country’s birth rate falling for the sixth straight year in 2020 to its lowest level on record. According to CDC statistics, only 3.6 million babies were born, compared to 3.7 million the previous year.
There are many reasons why Americans don’t have more children. Marriage is declining so rapidly that married people will soon be in the minority. Faith, the foundation of a moral society that encourages children (and empirically increases happiness levels) has deteriorated so badly that church membership has already fallen below 50%, according to Gallup. Americans don’t even have that much sex, or even masturbation, which signals a lack of interest.
According to the Pew Research Center in November, no baby boom is expected anytime soon. Only about a quarter of non-parents under 50 said they were “very likely” to have children, down from 32% in 2018. Forty-four percent said they were “not too likely” or “not at all likely” to have children whatsoever.
Increasingly, childless people with no intention of changing are blaming societal ills, from financial hardship to climate change, for their reluctance to have children. Climate change has been the subject of such hesitation that analysts at Morgan Stanley warned investors in August that “the movement not to have children due to climate change fears is growing and impacting on fertility rates faster than any previous trend in fertility decline”.
Three years ago, celebrity icon Miley Cyrus, once an icon for young girls, graced the cover of Elle magazine professing her refusal to have children because the ‘Earth is angry’ in a vision fringe that is now slipping into the mainstream.
In 2020, a Morning Consult survey showed that 1 in 4 adults cited climate change as a motivating reason for remaining childless. A study published by The Lancet in September found that nearly 40% of Gen Zers between the ages of 16 and 25 in 10 countries, including the United States, said climate change made them reluctant to have children. . Many Americans of childbearing age even preemptively self-sterilize.
As civic institutions crumble, raising a generation of isolated millennials content to quarantine in their bedrooms and live online, the underlying message that a depressed, childless society sends is that life is so miserable, who would want to live it? The planet so exhausted (it is not), who would like to receive it? And if the baby has Down syndrome, you might as well abort it.
“I think it’s morally wrong to bring a child into the world,” Isabel, a 28-year-old whose last name was not printed at her request, told Bari Weiss’ Substack newsletter. Common Sense”. “No matter how badly someone has it, they will suffer.”
A happy population is one that thrives on procreation, so enamored with its miracle that it chooses to pay for it with pride so that future generations can experience the same gift. That no matter its hardships, life is worth living and worth giving to others.
Instead, the life’s rejection of the unborn out of spite for a supposedly evil and crumbling civilization is a signal of deep angst on the rise today.
Tristan Justice is the Western correspondent for The Federalist. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and The Daily Signal. His work has also been featured in Real Clear Politics and Fox News. Tristan is a graduate of George Washington University where he majored in political science and minored in journalism. Follow him on Twitter at @JusticeTristan or contact him at [email protected]