Numbers, Facts and Trends Shaping Your World

What is the Ideal Number of Children for a Family?

During the age of the Baby Boom, a plurality of Americans believed that the ideal family included four or more children. This ideal is now stuck in the past. A plurality of Americans (46%) now believe that two children is the ideal number for a family, as has been the case since the 1970s. Another 26% say three is the ideal number of children. Only 12% of Americans currently say that four or more children is ideal, while even fewer (6%) say that one or zero children is what’s right for a family. There is no significant difference of opinion on family size among men and women. Younger adults (ages 18-29), however are more likely to say three or more children is the ideal number than are adults ages 30 and older. Families with lower incomes and less education are also more likely to prefer large families. And Americans who attend religious services each week are more likely to deem three or more children ideal than are those who seldom or never attend religious services. Read More