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Is there a silver lining to the dark cloud?

Overview

A shift in attitude is taking place and the number of people having one child is on the increase, close to 60 per cent of Indian households are opting to have only one child. A study was undertaken to understand the key emerging trends in family structure across middle & upper class consumers. Effect of the economic conditions and lifestyle alterations, reasons for opting for one child and understanding Pros & Cons of having only one child.

Current Situation

Family life in India is different and has tremendous cultural and ethnic diversity; every state has its own identity. India’s cultural environment has traditionally strongly favored large families, however new social and demographic trends within Asian society are emerging as the region rises economically and more conservative values wane. More Indian women are marrying later in life and opt to have only one baby child. Another reason is that couples are seeking to concentrate their resources to maximize earning opportunities for their offspring in a scramble for jobs. The inclination is most pronounced among educated people in metropolitan areas, therefore considering the situation so far we need to understand why Indian couples across metros want to have just one child.

Driving Trend of Downsized Families

The trend for downsized families is high on rise because of the following reasons-

  • Couples delay kids for careers
  • Infertility rates on the rise
  • Divorce
  • A shift in thinking more about the "quality" of time spent with children, not the "quantity" of offspring
  • Environmental concerns about world population growth and the depletion of resources
  • Downsized- families are easy to manage as compared to big families
Reasons for One Child

The one-child family is fast moving towards becoming the norm in urban circles “only child the new tradition in family”. Many feel that government’s famous family planning slogan – Hum Do Hamare Do – (two children per family) is not relevant in present context, with so much of pressures and expectations around.

  • Rise in cost of living
  • Career
  • Family issues
  • No help at hand
  • Doubts and fears, being able to give sound future
  • Motive to provide quality life to one child
  • Fertility issues
Implications

  • Considering, the current economic conditions middle class married/un-married women across SEC B cited to have only one child in future
  • Both married/un-married women wants to devote time to career after child birth hence to manage more than one child with career would be a tuff task
  • Women across SEC A & B both think that to have just one child is immeasurable. As one has more money and more time and energy to devote to kid. Needs and wants of child are well taken care of as all the attention will be on just one child and his upbringing
  • 30% of the married women felt the need to have two babies with the fact that a child would feel lonely

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