|Voluntary childless marriages are uncommon but increasing. By 1990ís marriages were more than 30% childless. There was a great shift in the proportion in the last 10 years of married people deciding not to have any children. Childless families outnumber families with children for the first time in history. For the first time in decades there are more North American families without children in the home than with them. In 1991, 51.1% of family households had no one under 18. In Japan, childless families accounted for 65 percent of all families in its 1993 basic survey on national life. The increase is due to the aging of the population and to more and more couples deciding not to have children. Families without children at home have different interests, more free time and often greater financial resources than couples with children.
A childless family is simply a group of people from all kinds of backgrounds and all walks of life who, for whatever reason, have never had children. Most have thought long and hard about parenthood and many have concluded (for various reasons) that it really wasn't right for them, while some are still in the decision-making process. Still others will probably have children at sometime in the future, but aren't ready just yet (even though all of their other friends are having theirs now and are urging them to catch up), and some wanted to have children but were unable to because of a variety of social and/or biological forces that interfere and result in unplanned childlessness. Many childless families choose not to have children because they concentrate on their careers, or like to travel. To replace children, childless families usually have pets instead.