Watch out! Experts reckon the middle child is going extinct!
Middle children are becoming a thing of the past, as it seems more and more parents are opting for less kids than previous generations!
In fact, two thirds of women are only giving birth to one or two kids, an older and a youngest – but no middle child.
The middle child is endangered
Data collected by the Pew Research Center in 1976 found that the average mum had more than three kids. 40 per cent of mum aged between 40 and 44 had four or more kids. 25 per cent had three kids, 24 per cent had two and 11 per cent had one.
Fast forward to today and the statistics are very different. Only 23 per cent of mums had three kids in 2016.
So, why is this? According to The New York Times, two kids has become the default norm. Millennials are waiting longer to get married and women are having children after they’ve worked on their careers.
What’s more, houses are becoming more expensive to purchase and many more people are in debt from further education than ever before.
“Like the mountain gorilla and the hawksbill turtle, the American Middle Child is now an endangered species,” reports the New York Times.
It seems, only those who can afford three kids or more do so.
“A certain set of married, affluent New Yorkers are going for the third child,” the article read, quoting a father of three.
“At some level, the third child is a proxy for having enough wealth to have a very comfortable life.”
Psychologist Catherine Salmon tells The Chicago Tribune that the disappearance of the middle child is a great travesty.
“What few people realise is that middle children are actually more likely to successfully effect change in the world than any other birth order,” she says.
Some of the few middle children who went on to become successful include Abraham Lincoln, Bill Gates, Madonna, Michael Jordan, Martin Luther King, to name a few.
McCrindle social researcher Ashley Fell tells Kidspot that it seems Australia’s middle child has been ‘endangered’ for quite some time.
“The number of children per woman has been quite stable and it seems that in Australia it is already a bit less common to have three or more children — two or maybe one is the average,” she said.
“So it does seem the middle child in Australia is in fear of becoming extinct because it’s already been on that path.”
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