A recent study by Michigan State University (MSU) has confirmed that one in five adults in Michigan do not want children and therefore are childfree. This means that over 1.6 million people in Michigan are childfree, which is more than the population of Michigan’s nine largest cities. The study also found that childfree adults are happy and satisfied with their choice and do not regret it later.
The study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, surveyed 1,500 adults in Michigan and asked them about their desire and intention to have children, as well as their happiness and life satisfaction. The researchers defined childfree adults as those who do not want children and do not intend to have them in the future. They distinguished them from childless adults, who do not have children but may want them or be undecided.
The study revealed that childfree adults make up 20.9% of the adult population in Michigan, which is consistent with the previous estimate of 21.6% in 2022. The study also showed that childfree adults are similar to parents and childless adults in terms of age, gender, race, education, income, and marital status. However, they differ in some characteristics, such as being more likely to be atheists or agnostics, more likely to be politically liberal or progressive, and less likely to be religious or spiritual.
The study also found that childfree adults are happy and satisfied with their choice and do not regret it later. They reported similar levels of happiness and life satisfaction as parents and childless adults. They also reported similar levels of interpersonal warmth and social support as parents and higher levels than childless adults. The researchers suggested that childfree adults may have other sources of meaning and fulfillment in their lives, such as hobbies, careers, relationships, or community involvement.
The study is one of the first to examine the prevalence and characteristics of childfree adults in a representative sample of the US population. It challenges the common stereotypes and stigma that childfree people face from society, such as being selfish, immature, unhappy, or unnatural. It is also a validation and encouragement for childfree people. Being childfree is a personal and valid choice that deserves respect and celebration.