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Why the Rich have Fewer Children than the Poor

Vincent Nyoike
Vincent Nyoike Finance

There is usually a huge contrast between the rich and the poor when it comes to the number of children. If you notice, in most cases, the poor tend to get more children than the rich. Several studies have tried to establish why it is the case. Income and fertility have an inverse correlation. Herwig Birg called the inverse correlation between fertility and income as “demo-economic paradox.”

For most people, the higher the level of education and income, the fewer the number of children. It is the same case between developed and developing countries. You will notice that in developed countries like the US, people tend to get fewer children compared to developing countries like in Africa. To try and find answers why it is the case, this article will look into why the rich have fewer children.

1. High Income Parents Value Quality over Quantity

The main reason why the rich have fewer children is because they value quality over quantity. The rich want to give their children quality life. This means that they spend fewer resources sparingly on fewer children. With fewer children, they can take them to the best schools and provide them with quality basic needs like food and shelter. 

The more children you have, the more resources you need like a bigger house. You will also spend a lot more in educating lots of children.

Related: Why poor people stay poor. 

2. Poor People Invest in Children for Social Security  

While the rich tend to invest in physical assets, the poor tend to invest in their children. They invest in children in exchange for cheap labor and social security during their old age. They can also get free labor from their children and save on costs of employing workers.

Besides, the poor see their children as part of their wealth. It is because in Africa countries, communities consider larger families as wealthier.

3. Lack of Family Planning Awareness Among the Poor   

Many poor people are not aware of family planning and do not have access to family planning devices. They do not also have education that can help them know the importance of a small family.

On the other hand, the rich people have some form of education and they enlightened. They are aware of family planning practices and they can access family planning services. As such, the poor people tend to get more children than they even anticipated.

Read also: Money mistakes colleges students make.

4. Rich People Spend Lots of Time in Pursuing Education

Many rich and educated people tend to spend a lot of their time pursuing education. This keeps them from early marriages and as a result, they have less productive years. Therefore, when they get into marriage, they just want to get a few children because time is far much gone.

On the other hand, less educated people have lots of free time and tend to get into marriage at an early age. This means they have more productive years, and hence they get more children.

5. Forced Early Marriages Among the Poor

When poor parents are unable to feed their children, they tend to force them into marriages at an early age. When they get married at an early age, they have more child bearing years and as such, they end up having more children.

On the other hand, rich families can take good care of their daughters and educate them. This keeps them busy and keeps them off marriages until they are a bit older. At the time they are married, they have less child bearing years.

Summary of Why the Rich Have Fewer Children than the Poor

The above reasons are the main courses of inverse correlation between income and fertility. That’s why the rich get fewer children compared to the poor. The rich invests in physical assets while the poor invest in children for social security and labor. As a result, the poor ends up getting more children. 

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