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A couple watches the morning sunrise. Photo: Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images

The proportion of U.S. adults who don't have children and say they're unlikely to want them in the future is growing, according to a new Pew Research Center survey published Friday.

Why it matters: The declining U.S. birth rate, which has dropped for the last six years, raises questions about whether the U.S. will have enough workers in years to come to sustain the economy and fund social programs, according to the Washington Post.

The big picture: The survey found that about 44% of non-parents aged 18-49 said it was "not too or not at all likely" that they will have children.

  • This represents a 7 point increase from 2018, when 37% of respondents said the same, per Pew Research Center.
  • Adults below 50 with children who say they're unlikely to have any more — about 74% — remain consistent with 2018 levels.

Between the lines: About 56% of non-parents who say they're unlikely to have kids say it's because they "just don't want" them.

  • Among other reasons, 19% cited medical issues, 17% cited finances and 15% said because they don't have a partner.
  • 9% based their decision on the "state of the world" and 5% of these respondents attributed their reluctance to climate change.

Go deeper

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
Nov 25, 2021 - Health

EU drug regulator recommends Pfizer COVID vaccine for kids

Photo: Kobi Wolf/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The European Union's drug regulatory agency on Thursday recommended the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 years old.

Driving the news: The European Medicines Agency said the dose for kids "will be lower than that used in people aged 12 and above," per a press release from the agency.

Storms pummel flood-hit Pacific Northwest as border river overflows

An image of the water-logged Sumas Prairie area taken last Friday. Photo: B.C. Ministry of Transportation/Twitter.

The latest ferocious storm system to hit the Pacific Northwest triggered fresh evacuation orders and at least one mudslide in flood-ravaged British Columbia, Canada, late Sunday.

Threat level: Flood sirens sounded in Washington state as the Nooksack River overflowed. Henry Braun, mayor of Abbotsford, B.C., told reporters the water flow was headed toward the Canadian border city later Sunday. "There's nothing to stop it," he said.

Updated 5 hours ago - Health

First North American Omicron cases identified in Canada

COVID-19 testing personnel at Toronto Pearson International Airport in September. Photo: Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

The first two cases of the new Omicron variant have been detected in North America, the Canadian government announced Sunday evening.

Driving the news: The World Health Organization has named Omicron a "variant of concern," but cautioned earlier on Sunday that it is not yet clear whether it's more transmissible than other strains of COVID-19.

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