October 16, 2006

Do We Count?

Or rather, are we being counted? Beyond speaking up, speaking out and merely holding our heads up as functioning, not just merely contributing, but perhaps less polluting...childfree adults, it is also important to be counted. Oh yes.

Intentionally childfree people in the U.S. are invisible, demographically, as they are currently tracked by bean counters in the highest levels of government. What do Purple Women™ and men have to do to be counted? This is how we are currently recorded by
U.S. Census Bureau:

Marital Status
Married-spouse present
Married – spouse absent
Widowed
Divorced
Separated
Never Married

I propose the Bureau add a new category:

Family Status
Non-parent (not planning to have children)
Step-parent
Foster parent
Parent
Undecided about children.

In order for Purple WomenTM and men to be better understood and officially exist, we must be counted.

What's it like in your country? Are you counted?


[Author's note: for more a more in depth examination of this posed question, please visit Childfree News blog post.]



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4 comments:

alphagirl said...

I'm pretty sure familial status is included somehow. I was able to pull some census figures for a presentation some years back that stated 2/3 of all U.S. households had no kids under 18 in residence.

As with any testing assesment/instrument, the Census is only as good as the people who administer it, and as the people who answer it truthfully.

ChrisR said...

In Australia the question is about number of children ever born to each of the women in the house on census night. And they only ask ever 10 years (every 2nd census).

So no, we don't count.

LauraS said...

The census bureau doesn't track fertility or intentions, just size of household. That's why we aren't counted. Sad but true.

Anne said...

I propose an extra category, because I fell into it for the last 10 years, and it's just as important as the Non-parent by choice catatory.

Unable to have children, or "non-parent NOT by choice" (ie. infertile). There's alot of us out there, and we deserve to be counted, too. We infertile families experience the same pressure to reproduce and the stigma of not being able to, in our work, social and religious arenas. There are times when people don't treat you like you are part of the human race.

Even though this is not my choice, I do salute you for your choice to be childfree. I hope that you will be counted soon.