Family dynamics and composition are in flux in the U.S. People are having children later in life and as a result, having few children than previous generations. The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that the fertility rate is at 1.77 lifetime births per woman, down from 2.12 lifetime births per woman in 2007.

At Branded, we interact and talk with our users about the most intimate details of their lives – especially their families. We have recently conducted research into our users’ attitudes about family composition and dynamics.  

We first asked our users for their thoughts on the ideal family size. Our poll asked our users to indicate the number of children in the ideal family. The poll was conducted on July 24, 2018 and 17,333 users responded.

Overall, roughly 57 percent of our users indicate that the ideal family has two children, exceeding the current lifetime fertility rate. While users across the generations consistently indicate that the ideal family has two children, we observe nuances. Younger users are more likely than older users to indicate that having children may not be necessary for the ideal family.  

As part of our research, we also wanted to explore our users’ attitudes on raising children. We polled our users and asked if they think boys or girls are easier to raise. Our poll was conducted on July 25, 2018 and 17,350 users responded. Our research found that approximately 54 percent of our users feel that one gender is not necessarily easier to raise than the other. Approximately 28 percent of users say boys are easier to raise and 18 percent say girls are easier to raise.

Younger users are more likely than older users to say that one gender is not any easier to raise than the other. Roughly 56 percent of Millennials (age 22-38) say there is no difference in raising the genders, compared to 54 percent of Gen X (age 39-50), 53 percent of Baby Boomers (age 51-69) and 48 percent of Silent Generation (age 70+). When users do have an opinion, across the board the generations tend to think boys are easier to raise than girls.  

Do parents play favorites? We also polled our users and asked if they think parents tend to have a favorite child. We polled our users on July 26, 2018 and 17,363 users responded. Overall 83 percent of our users say parents tend to play favorites with their children. 

Our research found that older users are more likely than younger users to say they think parents tend to have a favorite child. Approximately 88 percent of Silent Generation users and 85 percent of Baby Boomers say parents tend to have a favorite child compared to 83 percent of Gen X and 82 percent of Millennials.