These results are based on 2013 Gallup Daily tracking, which asks Americans about the amount of money they spent on purchases "yesterday," excluding normal household bills and major purchases. Americans without children under 18 reported average daily spending of $79, while Americans with children reported a $108 daily average.What's the problem here? Well, the data as reported do not reflect per person spending. If an American family of two adults spends $79 per day, then the average is $39.50 per person per day. If they have one child and the three of them spend $108 per day, the average is $36 per person per day. I'm sorry, but less is not more!
Now, let's go to the Atlantic story:
The drop in U.S. fertility rates in recent years has almost certainly had a negative effect on consumer spending (and, in turn, lower birthrates are probably an outcome of the recession). In particular, childless couples don't need space for more kids so they're less likely to buy homes in the suburbs, depressing demand for housing in an economy that badly needs to sell more homes.First, as I pointed out last September when these birth data came out, the total fertility rate in the US in 2012 was exactly the same as it was in 1987, even though there had been some ups and down in between. The Centers for Disease Control use the General Fertility Rate instead of the TFR and they thus do not take account of changing age structures. Secondly, the low birth rate in the US does not mean that there is some huge number of childless couples. As I pointed out some time back, the percent of women who end their reproductive years without children has risen from 17.4 in 1994 compared to 18.8 percent now. I'm sorry, but this does not sound an alarm in my firehouse.