National survey reveals Aussies’ attitude towards family life

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Couple walks through heart installation
A young couple walks through a heart shaped installation in the Distillery District in Toronto, June 16, 2015. Reuters/Mark Blinch

A national survey that tracked 9,500 households and involved over 17,000 people since 2012 has released its latest snapshot of Australia, including Aussies’ attitude to family life. It revealed that men want to have children later in life more than women do.

The report titled Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) also found that men more frequently find themselves having more kids than they intended to. Most men said they intended to have kids when they are into their forties.

Meanwhile, women who intended to have kids at 35 have a 50-50 chance of it happening. More than half of women said they will no longer have kids by the time they reach 30. But a third of those altered their plans and became mothers in the next 10 years.

Once they hit 35, about a quarter of people said they wanted to have a child. Only under half of women did not have them by the time they were 45.

About one in eight men aged 40 are eager to have children. This is in comparison with one in 14 women who are keen to become mothers.

At least 6.8 percent of men still intended to have kids when they hit 44 compared to just 1.3 percent of women. While more men said they wanted kids when they are older, they are also more likely to have more kids than they planned.

Over 10 percent of men in their forties said they had more kids than they intended. For females, it was less than one percent.

It also revealed that several parents are dealing with substantial difficulties related to financial burden and lack of availability of childcare. In just over a decade, costs have more than doubled for some families. But for teacher Kate Murphy, the cost of childcare is worth the price, Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Attitudes to marriage and having kids become more progressive across every demographic group, specifically towards gay rights. Men and women in almost every age group agree that homosexual couples must have the same rights as heterosexual couples. The only respondent who did not agree were men aged 65 and over.

Furthermore, views on parenting and work have become less traditional. The biggest shifts come in disagreement to statements such as "mothers who do not really need the money shouldn't work.” Men are more likely to have conservative opinions towards employment.

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