Couples are either deciding not to have children soon
Second child could help in the personality development
India has always been known for big families. Looking back, we find that our grandparents or our great-grandparents had multiple children. This resulted in huge families. A single-family would approximately have 8-10 members at the minimum. Almost 95% of families were joint families back then, and the prevailing idea was that the more the number of heads in a family, the more is the earning of the family. This was the scenario until the 1950s or even the 1960s.
We are now standing in an era where finances control almost every other aspect of life. With money being the centerpiece, family planning is becoming more stringent day by day. The main focus being on savings; the scenario has become such that couples are either deciding not to have children soon or are deciding to have just a single child.
Financial reasons leading couples to resort to a single-child policy
- The increasing cost of the essentials
With the ongoing economic decline, the costs of the essentials, too, have gone up to a great extent. The situation is such that, for middle-class families, many essentials have turned into luxuries. Cost curtailing has come to the forefront of everything else. The cost of maintaining or sustaining even one child is immense. So, having a second child becomes nothing short of a financial burden.
Salaries in India vary drastically among different professions based on factors including performance, experience, location etc. The average monthly earning of an individual in 2020 is Rs. 31,900, i.e., middle class and salaries range from INR 8,080 (lowest average) to INR 143,000 (highest average). Therefore for the lower and middle-class people maintaining a big family could be a major issue. Also, it is to be kept in mind that while the living costs are increasing, the average salary has remained the same over the years.
- School admissions are an expensive affair
Schools are really expensive these days. In fact, education is an extremely expensive affair in recent times. In a standard private school, the yearly expenses for a single student can amount to approximately INR 50,000-60,000 (the costs might be even higher in some cases). Private colleges and universities are equally extravagant, if not more. In recent years, the competition in the professional sector is so high that it is impossible for the parents to compromise with their child’s education.
Also, it is a fact that every child is entitled to education up to the age of 14 years. So, keeping in mind the expenses for education, many couples are refraining from having a second issue so that they can provide good education to their only child.
- Healthcare is often too costly
Healthcare is very expensive, be it pre-natal or post-natal or even child healthcare. Now, medicines and doctors’ appointments are really costly (an appointment cost is something between Rs. 500-2,500). Some medical procedures, like the regular USGS, can burn a hole in the pocket. Taking care of a pregnant woman with her increased nutritional needs has to be balanced out with the healthcare requirements of the existing family members, especially the child.
Post-natal care is also costly. The new-born child has to be vaccinated and provided with proper medication, foods, and other essentials like diapers, which also often become a financial burden on middle-class families.
- Proper housing options might be unaffordable
A nuclear family with two children ideally requires a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom apartment so that each child can grow up comfortably. Although the constraint of spaces is oftentimes not felt during childhood, teenage years could pose a real problem with regards to this issue. However, property prices are also high in recent times. It can range from INR 38lacs to 1.5cr or even higher in proper locations of a city (varies from city to city).
- Artificial methods are really very expensive
With an increasing number of people deciding to have their second issue at a pretty advanced age, and with a rise in problematic lifestyles, many couples have to opt for artificial methods in order to conceive. IVF procedures are extremely costly. They might cost something around INR 1.5 to 2lacs. Surrogacy is even costlier. Also, it is to be taken into account that the procedures might not be a success at the very first go. So, couples often have to keep on trying these procedures to finally conceive. Thus, it becomes difficult for a middle-class family to bear such costs.
- Steep decline of the economy of the country due to pandemic
In the eve of the Covid-19 pandemic, the global economy has declined immensely. Especially in developing countries such as ours, the situation is even worse. As per the reports, in April alone, approximately 122 million people have lost their jobs. In such a situation, where mere survival is uncertain, welcoming a second issue is nothing less than a luxury, especially for middle-class families.
Although a second child could help in the personality development of the first child quite positively, many couples are settling for a single child keeping in mind the financial issues mentioned above. However, one with good investment portfolio that include investments with assured high returns such as mutual fund investments, can be a financially stable family even after having a second child. Talk to your advisor to know more!
That’s why Comparte Investment team asks do you have “Nivesh Ki Aadat”.
(About Author: Arindom is a professional writer, editor, blogger and a member of the International Association of Professional Writers and Editors, New York. A management postgraduate in finance with extensive industry exposure, he is associated with many reputed global online magazines and publications as a regular contributor. He loves to help his readers writing highly informative and well-researched investment-related content to make informed decisions.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of organization)