How Do Children Affect a US Family's Possessions?

In American culture, many parents believe that children require material goods, such as toys and specially designed furniture, for optimal development. As a result, the average US family's possessions increase by about 30% each time a child is born and throughout the first years of his or her life. This stands in stark contrast to many developing nations, where possessions are few and children are expected to adapt to the adult world without toys or "child size" things.

More about US families:

  • Studies have shown that people are more likely to be happy when spending their money on experiences, such as vacations, than on material goods.

  • Research has shown that US couples with no children accumulate 5% more wealth than couples with children do.

  • Like material possessions, extensive home remodeling projects are unlikely to increase personal happiness, according to researchers.

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