- The Iona Institute - https://ionainstitute.ie -

Americans’ desire for larger families hits 50-Year high

Americans’ view of the ideal number of children in a family has crept up to the highest level since 1973, according to the latest survey from Gallup [1].

Americans are about evenly divided in their views of whether smaller versus larger families are preferable. When asked about the ideal number of children for a family to have, 45% of Americans favour larger families, a steep increase from 38% in 2013, and an even wider gap from 33% in 2003 [2].

This figure includes 29% who say having three children is ideal, 12% who think four is best, and 2% each who prefer having five or six or more children.

A 44% plurality of U.S. adults think having two children is best, and 3% say a single child is ideal.

This contrasts sharply with previous results.

Between 1967 and 1971, preferences for larger families plummeted from 70% to 52%. This drop was likely fuelled at least in part by concerns about a global population explosion, and changes in societal norms.

In 1973, Americans’ preference for smaller families of one or two children became the standard.