Childless homes set to overtake big families
THE make-up of the typical Queensland family is about to change, with a seismic demographic shift meaning that within months there will be more child-free homes in Queensland than households with kids.
Economists predict a wave of tax reforms as the state adjusts to the slowdown in the population rate and decline in future workers. Childless couples hope there will be relief from taxes that force them to subsidise families with children.
Australian Bureau of Statistics data projections show in 2017 there will be 572,032 adult-only homes in the state, eclipsing the 566,504 with children. The numbers include couples-only homes, including empty nesters. Nationwide, the U-turn in family make-up will come in 2023.
“It is a trend that we have watched and prepared for in the last couple of decades and it will bring significant change,” social analyst David Chalke said.
“Let me just say, put your money into the pet care business – as the four-legged ‘child’ will be more popular than little humans.
“Research is clear that people who have no children are richer and happier.”
The rise in child-free households is attributed to an increase in couples choosing not to have kids to focus on careers, education or travel.
Other factors included deferring coupling until their 30s and 40s; empty-nesters who have already raised families; infertility; and couples “concerned about overpopulation”.
A Deakin University study found 81 per cent of women