Skipton: 1.3 kids now the norm

11 April 2006
The financial pressures of modern family life have nearly halved the national average from the traditional 2.4 children to just 1.3, according to research from Skipton Building Society.

The study showed nearly nine out of ten respondents (89 per cent) said the financial implications of bringing up offspring had led to them having fewer or no children, with one in five people remaining childless.

While the parental urge has not necessarily been discouraged entirely among most, financial pressures have led to many people delaying having a child. Nearly a quarter of those asked said they had waited over five years because of the cost of having a family.

Jennifer Holloway, head of media relations at Skipton, said: "The fact that a fifth of the UK's adults are choosing to remain childless sends a strong message about modern life and the pressures it brings - particularly financially."

Blaming the current concerns over pension shortfalls, rising consumer debt and the escalation of house prices, Ms Holloway suggested that the minority choosing to remain childless was not the most concerning issue.

"What's particularly unfortunate…is the number of people who wish to have a family but are being forced to delay doing so for purely monetary reasons," she explained.

By taking advantage of the financial opportunities available to them and making shrewd investments where possible, Ms Holloway assured prospective parents that "the patter of tiny footsteps could come sooner rather than later."

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