The rise of childlessness

The Economist - POCKET LIVING has been building and selling small flats in London since 2005. The flats have many of the things that young, single people want, such as bicycle storage, and lack the things they do not, such as large kitchens and lots of bookshelves. At first, Pocket expected that most buyers would be in their late 20s, says Marc Vlessing, the firm’s boss. Instead the average age is 32, and rising. It is not that many buyers are yet to have children, speculates Mr Vlessing; rather, they probably will never have them

People without children are far more likely to bequeath money to charity, points out Russell James, an expert on philanthropy at Texas Tech University. In 2014 fully 48% of married childless people aged at least 55 who had written wills or will-like documents committed to giving something to charity. That was true of only 12% of parents and a mere 8% of grandparents. Knowing this, American universities have become acutely interested in whether their alumni have offspring, says Mr James.

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