Children used to provide cheap labor, and retirement security, all in one. Now they’re pretty much all cost and no return, from a financial perspective.
"In nations rich and poor, under all forms of government, as more and more of the world’s population moves to urban areas in which children offer little or no economic reward to their parents, and as women acquire economic opportunities and reproductive control, the social and financial costs of childbearing continue to rise.
"In the United States, the direct cost of raising a middle-class child born this year through age 18, according to the Department of Agriculture, exceeds $200,000 — not including college. And the cost in forgone wages can easily exceed $1 million, even for families with modest earning power. Meanwhile, although Social Security and private pension plans depend critically on the human capital created by parents, they offer the same benefits, and often more, to those who avoid the burdens of raising a family."