Money worries get in the way of couple’s baby dreams

The state of the economy is prompting everyone of child bearing age to think very carefully. A new study shows that over half the women (51%) and nearly half the men (46%) living in Portugal already have children – and, more importantly perhaps, they are not planning on having any more. Reasons given are almost all due to financial problems and difficulties in finding a job.

The data comes from a study conducted between January and April this year by the National Statistics Institute which queried women between the ages of 18 and 49 and men between the ages of 18 and 54.

Statistics show that over 86% and 82% of women and men who are already parents are not thinking of having any more children due to the financial burden that they represent, while 54% and 50% respectively name difficulties in obtaining a job.

However, the majority of people who do not yet have children also chose financial and employment difficulties as very good reasons not to have any at the moment.

In terms of the ideal number of children per family, the study’s participants were reluctant to go beyond two.

Further data shows that the vast majority of people chose to become parents later rather than sooner – around 74% of women and 88% of men aged between 18 and 29 do not have children at all. The average age at which women had their first child was 26, while for men it was 28.