- As the Delta wave recedes, Americans look more divided than ever—by income, religion and political allegiance—when it comes to their desire to start a family. Tweet This
- The "desire to have a child" tanked much more among poor, secular, and Democratic Americans than it did among their more affluent, religious, and conservative fellow citizens. Tweet This
COVID-19 turbocharged polarization in America. Although many hoped the pandemic would bring us together, on many fronts—from masking to in-person schooling—it drove us farther apart. A new report suggests this polarization extends to the home front. As the Delta wave recedes, Americans look more divided than ever—by income, religion and political allegiance—when it comes to their desire to start a family.
Interest in marrying climbed modestly, by 2 percentage points overall, since the pandemic hit last year. But this interest varied across the lines that most deeply divide America today. The rich, the religious and Republicans reported the greatest overall increase in the "desire to marry" while the poor, secular Americans and Democrats reported less or no increase in marriage interest, according to a new YouGov survey of men and women aged 18-55 by the Institute for Family Studies (IFS) and the Wheatley Institution.
At the same time, 18-to-55-year-old Americans' post-pandemic interest in childbearing fell seven percentage points since last year. But the "desire to have a child" tanked much more among poor, secular and Democratic Americans than it did among their more affluent, religious and conservative fellow citizens.
The country was already polarizing along family lines before COVID-19 hit. The percentage of IFS/Wheatley survey respondents who are married with children was 31 points higher among the rich than the poor, 28 points higher among the religious than the secular, and 15 points higher among Republicans than Democrats. Our nation is increasingly divided not just by income or race or geography but also by marriage and parenthood.
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