Ipsos has released the findings from their latest study titled “Balancing Family, Work & Life” today.
The findings from the “Balancing Family, Work & Life” study reveals that:
- Malaysians’ ideal number of children is above three, considerably higher than many of its global peers. Even in the major North East Asian countries with lower fertility rates, the preference is at or below the replacement rate of 2.1.
- There’s a wide range of reasons why people may delay the decision to have (more) children – from lack of a partner to career considerations to concerns about political stability. Among Malaysians, concerns about the pandemic has had a particular impact on the prospects of starting, or extending, a family.
- Malaysians think both genders are facing constraints that can be damaging to their career. The choice to have kids in particular is a career impacting choice, and even though family care is more associated with constraints on women’s career prospects, it does apply to men as well
Wan Nuradiah, Head of Public Affairs (Ipsos Malaysia) comments, “People around the world thinks differently about what the ideal family should look like. Malaysians’ preferred number of children is more than three, substantially higher than in most countries. In countries like Japan, China and South Korea where the population growth is stagnating or declining, the preferred number of children is below the replacement rate.”
“The reasons why people choose to delay or not to have children, varies broadly – from personal choice to macro level factors such as political instability. The emergence of Covid has added an extra element of uncertainty – in Malaysia, concerns about the pandemic is the primary reason for delaying or deciding against having a child/another child”, added Nuradiah.
Decisions to have children while building a career is often seen as a trade off, and especially for women. Although caring responsibilities are expected to have more of an adverse effect on women’s career, it’s not completely one sided – many Malaysians consider it a challenge that men face as well”, Nuradiah concluded.
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