THE POLL: HOW MANY CHILDREN SHOULD YOU HAVE?

This poll is now closed.

The question of how many children people should have is one of the biggest Big Questions we have asked. It is a deeply personal decision, and one that most of us have to make. There are many things to take into consideration—the cost, your sanity, a child’s happiness, the planet. We asked six writers to enter this moral maze.

Lauren Sandler made her choice “within the limits of reality”, and is perfectly happy with one child. Jonathon Porritt has two children that have “massively enriched” his life, but he warns that having more can be harmful to the planet. Emma Duncan argues that, in economical terms, three children is the ideal number. Ma Jian has four children scampering around his house and feels “a sense of symmetry and completion” in his family. Kevin Maxwell praises the love and support that his seven children can offer each other, while David Benatar claims that having children is immoral, and that the only way to prevent harm in the world is to have none at all.

Two
27% (168 votes)
None
25% (156 votes)
Three
15% (96 votes)
One
13% (85 votes)
Seven
8% (51 votes)
Four
5% (36 votes)
No biological - Adopt as many as you can afford! (Write in)
0% (1 vote)
No more biological children. Adopt at least 2 (Write in)
0% (1 vote)
27 (Write in)
0% (1 vote)
determined by you and your partner, not anyone else (Write in)
0% (1 vote)
as many as you can! (Write in)
0% (1 vote)
0-2 (Write in)
0% (1 vote)
12 (Write in)
0% (1 vote)
Optimal number of children is the number where your disposable monthly income doesnt't reach zero. (Write in)
0% (1 vote)
Only as many as the parents can afford to care for and would activity care for, not pushing the responsibility onto their kids. (Write in)
0% (1 vote)
8 (Write in)
0% (1 vote)
In line with Jonathon Porritt I would say two, with a caveat: We should adopt. There are too many unwanted children world over. (Write in)
0% (1 vote)
As many as you can support financially and emotionally (Write in)
0% (1 vote)
Be open to creating new life, every child is a blessing. (Write in)
0% (1 vote)
As many as humanly possible (Write in)
0% (1 vote)
as few as possible (Write in)
0% (1 vote)
Five (Write in)
0% (1 vote)
Depends on personal preference, ability, and divine will (Write in)
0% (1 vote)
if you have enough money... (Write in)
0% (1 vote)
up to four with more than one woman is interesting (Write in)
0% (1 vote)
The decision should be left to the woman having the children (or not). (Write in)
0% (1 vote)
as many as you want (Write in)
0% (1 vote)
Adopt (Write in)
0% (1 vote)
12 (Write in)
0% (1 vote)
12 (Write in)
0% (1 vote)
12 (Write in)
0% (1 vote)
12 (Write in)
0% (1 vote)
12 (Write in)
0% (1 vote)
12 (Write in)
0% (1 vote)
Total votes: 614