Sunday, June 21, 2020

Why Some Men Delay Fatherhood

First-time fathers are now more than 27 years old, on average; lengthening transition to adulthood is one reason

By Jo Craven McGinty of The WSJ. Some of the key reasons are economic. Excerpts: 
"First-time fathers, on average, are now more than 27 years old and in total have fewer than two children. In the late 1980s, they were 25 and had 2.1 children."

"A potential reason for the delay in fatherhood, the researchers found, is what demographers call the “lengthening transition to adulthood”—the point at which men (and women) feel as if they’ve achieved adult status.

“You’ve finished your education, you’ve secured a job, you have a stable income and, often, it’s when you’re married and when you’re able to purchase a home,” Dr. Guzzo said.

Having kids is the last step.

But some people take five or six years to earn an undergraduate degree or they extend their education even further by entering a postgraduate program. In the process, they might accumulate a daunting amount of student-loan debt, making the other transitional milestones seem financially impossible, at least in the short term."

"attending a four-year college now costs about five times as much as it did 30 years ago. In current dollars, the average cost of tuition, fees and room and board was $26,593 for the 2016-17 school year, compared with $5,504 in 1985-86."

"When the NCES examined data on students enrolled in the 2003-04 school year, they found that about 60% had taken out federal loans to finance their education, and a dozen years later, more than half were still in debt.

Graduates with an associate degree owed a median of $13,800. Those who earned a bachelor’s degree owed a median of $11,700. And those who borrowed to attend graduate school owed a median of $48,000."

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