We set out to survey over 1,000 Australian women aged 18-35 to better understand their thoughts on fertility.
Many of us are familiar with the contemporary fertility narrative; women are having fewer children and at a later age.
But at Kin Fertility, we wanted to understand what’s happening with Australian fertility trends on a deeper level.
Australians are uncertain about their fertility
Over 30% of Australian women unsure when they want to have children and
15% are not sure whether they want children at all.
46% of Australian women who want children eventually,
but closer to 1-5 from now, are delaying because of financial reasons
Nearly 70% of respondents said they were delaying pregnancy as they wanted to own a home or be more financially stable before having kids. Half of respondents also said they wanted to earn a higher salary or progress in their career first.
Whether you want kids soon or sometime in the future, know what to expect.
How To Budget For
COVID-19 has impacted 1 in 5 Australian women's fertility plans and decisions
Like many parts of life, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the Australian fertility outlook, but not in the ways many expected. According to women of Australia, there has been no rapid case of a "baby boom"
Further delaying their plans
The financial impact of the pendemic and wanting to wait until the world feels safe again were the top two reasons for why COVID-19 has delayed pregnancy plans.
Bringing plans forward
Nearly ~60% of those who had brought forward family plans due to COVID-19 explained this was because "I have less travel plans"
Attitudes around fertility are slowly shifting, but still far from optimal
Nearly 60% of Australian women strongly disagree with the idea that they feel pressure to have children due to their religious or cultural beliefs.
Despite this more contemporary outlook on fertility, Australian women still feel judgement and worry around the topic of fertility, with 70% agreeing that society judges women who are voluntarily childless.
~65% of Australian women who reported having had anxieties in relation to their fertility.
Anxieties around fertility may be caused by lack of fertility knowledge
30% of Australian women saying they didn't know enough about their fertility to make informed decisions.
When it comes to fertility and family planning information, Australian women are not accessing the information from sources they actually want to be using.
One of the big inhibitors to women engaging more with their fertility, and seeking out information, is the lack of comfort in talking to others about their fertility.
~25% disagreed that they could talk about their own fertility without judgement from others.
On average, Australian women want a 20% increase in their current salary to feel financially comfortable having children.
With almost ~30% Australian women requiring an increase of greater than 40% in their current annual income, this explains why so many are delaying for financial reasons.
Australian women who are dedicated towards ensuring they can have kids definitely feel as if they require a higher income to do so.
However, their behaviour to save and get financially prepared only occurs later down the track: Once they are married, over 30 years of age, and trying to conceive.
40% of women who had been trying to conceive are actively saving while only 17% of those planning for children are.
So should you wait to save until you're over 30, married and have been trying to conceive over 12 months, when the average cost of birth and child rearing is ~$15k?
Everything You Need To Know About Delaying Pregnancy
If you too are delaying having children, we get you! Here's a FREE guide to help you make family planning decisions in an informed way.