Young Adults Delaying Parenthood; What it Means for the Toy and Play Industries

Fertile men and women are like the source of the Nile when it
comes to the toy and play industries.
   It is this group upstream creating all of those consumers and end users downstream that make
the business of play possible.  What
happens, however, when the Nile runs dry and those adults stop producing babies?

Well in a sense that is what is happening to U.S. birthrate, at least according to an article on the Today Show website
by Allison Linn.  The piece, entitled
“Dreams delayed or denied; young adults put off parenthood.”  It seems that young adults, freaked out by a
lack of good jobs and seeing their parents fall into financial difficulty, are
reluctant or simply too scared to take on parenthood
.  At a time when birth control is widely
effective and easily available, they have the where withal to put off or even
decline to have children.

Here is how Linn puts it:

The U.S. birth rate has
generally fallen since the Great Recession began in 2007, and some of the
sharpest drops have been among women in the 20s.
The birth rate for women ages
20 to 24 hit a record low of 85.3 births per 1,000 women in 2011, according to the
recent detailed data
available from the Centers for Disease Control. For
women ages 25 to 29, the 2011 birth rate of 107.2 births per 1,000 women was
the lowest since 1976.

These kinds of statistics mean that any industry that
depends upon children for its well-being is going to struggle.  It makes all those adults who want to play
look pretty good doesn’t it?

2 thoughts

  1. Good manufacturing jobs gone to China in a short-sighted race to the bottom of the price barrel; soaring student debt and record young adult un/under employment; kids with Masters degrees flipping burgers;a whole generation of young men who make minimum wage, live in their parents’ basements and play Warcraft until 4 AM as they prefer their alter universe to the real world; crazy house prices;record dividends and salaries for top executives – and people wonder why so many of our youth are afraid to have kids? Bang on as usual, Richard.

  2. That’s why I created Savvy Auntie. PANKs(R) – Professional Aunts No Kids – are 23M strong in the US – or 1-in-5 American women. These are women 18+ who say they have a special bond with a child in their life, by relation or by choice.
    76% of PANKs spend more than $500 per child in their life, per year. Baseline one child per PANK, that’s a $9B market that the Toy Industry is leaving off the table.
    Melanie Notkin
    Founder, Savvy Auntie (
    For more information on this key demo for toy and juvenile product marketers –

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