The reasons why young Thais don’t want to have children: Perspectives on parenthood among Thais in the current era


The reasons why young Thais don't want to have children: Perspectives on parenthood among Thais in the current era by Bangkok Matching, Thailand’s high-end matchmaking company.

The reasons why young Thais don’t want to have children: Perspectives on parenthood among Thais in the current era


Bangkok Matching

Thailand’s high-end matchmaking company.


Many Thai single individuals or even those already married have likely pondered and been asked whether they have children or plan to have any. This prompts some to contemplate whether they should have children, whether having children is beneficial, or whether not having children is preferable. Does having children indicate a truly complete family? And do the majority of modern Thais actually not want children?


The issue of “having children or not having children” has sparked debates and divided opinions in Thailand’s current era. Numerous netizens have expressed their views on this matter through social media. Having children is a significant matter both for oneself and for the children. If one cannot care for them properly, it might be better not to have them at all. However, some Thais believe that having children symbolizes a complete family, representing the love of parents and serving as a goal that enriches relationships. Additionally, having children allows for companionship and support in old age for some individual.


When opinions are divided into two sides like this, Bangkok Matching, Thailand’s high-end matchmaking company, conducted a survey on this issue online through lifestyle forums where people asked each other questions such as, “How does having children affect family relationships?” Naturally, the responses varied, but they were all interesting. Respondents had both positive and negative views. Some believed that having children helped to enrich family life, giving it more purpose. They felt that having children made them more aware of their goals and responsibilities, as they needed to provide for their children and hoped their children would care for them in old age.


On the other hand, those with differing opinions expressed that having children was physically and emotionally draining. It required a significant amount of energy and financial resources, especially if the child turned out to be problematic or not living up to expectations. If not properly cared for, it could become a societal issue, leading some to not want children themselves.


However, it’s important to note that these are just opinions from the online world and should not be taken as absolute truths or used as references. Bangkok Matching merely presents them to show that the issue of whether it’s good to have children or not is a complex matter with varying perspectives.


For a clearer confirmation, Bangkok Matching conducted a serious survey using data from NIDA Poll, a renowned institution, regarding the popular opinion among modern individuals. The survey, conducted in the year 2566 B.E. (2023), focused on the hotly debated topic of whether it’s better to have children or not. We have summarized the survey results for easy understanding below:


Among single and married Thai populations, the largest group was singles, accounting for 29.39%. The breakdown is as follows:

  • Singles without partners or children: 29.39%
  • Married with children: 26.57%
  • In a relationship but not married: 20.92%
  • Married without registering the marriage and with children: 10.99%
  • Married with registration but without children: 4.58%
  • Others: 6.48%


This illustrates that currently in Thailand, the population of Thai singles and those without children is greater than those with children, at approximately 28%.


In line with the preferences of the 44% of Thai singles without children from a sample of 759 Thai individuals surveyed by NIDA Poll, this group believes that being single without children is still preferable to having children when one is not ready. This opinion is supported by various reasons provided by this sample group, including:


  • 38.32% are reluctant to incur additional expenses, as having children entails increased financial obligations.
  • 38.32% worry about how their children will fare in today’s society.
  • 37.72% do not want the burden of caring for and raising children.
  • 33.32% desire a life of freedom.
  • 17.66% fear they won’t be able to adequately provide for their children.
  • 13.77% prioritize their career over starting a family.
  • 5.39% have personal or partner health issues.
  • 2.10% fear that being a parent might negatively impact their child’s future due to poor parenting.
  • 0.90% fear karmic repercussions for past misdeeds towards their parents.


In summary, Bangkok Matching concludes that the current preferences of Thai people have shifted significantly from the past, where it was commonly believed that having children was essential for fulfilling Thai family life after marriage. Previously, if a couple faced difficulties conceiving or bearing children after marriage, it could lead to familial discord, particularly in cases where the wife was expected to provide an heir. This perspective, particularly prevalent in Asian families, stems from the belief in the duty of children to reciprocate parental kindness and care for them in their old age.


Why have the attitudes towards having children among Thai people changed?


The reason is that Thai societal norms evolve over time and can always be adapted and changed. In the past, having children may have been deemed necessary, and those who got married but didn’t have children might have faced frequent scrutiny. However, in another era, not having children has become a symbol of life freedom. This is an example of how Thai societal norms change with the trends of the time.


Bangkok Matching, has analyzed Thai societal data and changes and believes that the shift in old norms is due to the questioning nature of Thai new generations, Gen Y and Gen Z, in Thailand. They are more inclined to challenge and debate deep-rooted issues directly, unlike the Thailand’s Baby Boomer generation, which adhered strictly to societal norms. If someone deviated from these norms back then, it was considered a significant issue.


This change has led to the perception that having children for the sake of family fulfillment or as symbols of completeness is no longer as important to the majority of people. Nowadays, emphasis is placed more on being “prepared” physically, emotionally, and financially to become parents. This preparedness isn’t just about physical readiness but also about financial stability, job security, the time required for child-rearing, and the expenses involved in raising a child until they become independent. Additionally, the ability of parents to nurture and guide their children successfully in society and the economy, both in Thailand and globally, is a significant consideration.


As NIDA Poll’s survey indicates, the majority of Thai people nowadays are hesitant to have children due to the high expenses involved and the concerns about the challenges their children might face. This reluctance is one commonly encountered reason.


What are the implications of the decreasing birth rate among the new generation of Thais?


Certainly, a declining birth rate means that our society is gradually transitioning into an “aging society,” where the population of elderly people increases more than the rate of newborns who will become the workforce of the future. According to Thailand’s population statistics from the Department of Provincial Administration for the years 2021 to 2023, the Thai population has not only failed to increase as it did in the past, but it has also decreased significantly over the past three years. This indicates a significant impact on the Thai social structure, with the population in 2023 being 2.09% lower than in 2021. While this may seem like a small percentage, it has significant implications for the Thai social fabric. Consequently, the government has had to launch campaigns encouraging young Thais to have more children through various initiatives.


Moreover, many Thai single women today, who may not have a partner or haven’t found one yet, still desire to have children of their own through sperm donation. However, legal constraints in the present day hinder this dream. If Thai laws were to permit single Thai women to have children through sperm donation, allowing them to choose high-quality sperm donors, it could help alleviate the population decline issue to some extent.


If you want to have children in this era, how should you prepare and plan?


From the experiences of Bangkok Matching, it’s found that not everyone is opposed to having children and only sees the downsides of parenthood. Polls represent the opinions of one group, those who want children as a desire and goal, and who are capable of nurturing them without issue. For instance, the majority of members who use the services of Bangkok Matching’s matchmaking service do so because they want to find a partner, build a family, and seriously commit to marriage and having children. However, there is a minority who express that their life goals don’t include having children.


If you’re emotionally ready and you’re someone who wants to have children, here’s what you should know, assess, and plan for your future life:


1  Assess overall family expenses: Determine your and your spouse’s total income, savings, debts, and remaining resources to see if you can financially support a child.


2  Assess child-related expenses: List out the expenses from pregnancy to childbirth. If you plan to have additional children, include those expenses as well.


3  Education planning: Some parents want to plan their children’s education from the start. It’s good to calculate the costs, tuition fees, and the number of years of education you need to budget for in the future.


4  Investment and income planning: Because forecasting the future based on present circumstances is uncertain and risky, looking for long-term investment options to generate passive income can significantly help you in the long run.


5  Prepare for the individuality of your child: When your child is born, they will have their own thoughts and emotions. They may not share your views on everything. Therefore, preparing to embrace and adapt to your child’s personality and disposition is something parents should start doing from the beginning. As the saying goes, “We can provide for our children physically, but their minds belong to them.


See how having children isn’t so daunting after all? If we understand and are prepared to handle the responsibility of nurturing someone to grow up in society with quality, then not wanting children because it feels like adding shackles to ourselves due to unreadiness in various aspects isn’t wrong. It depends on our own perspective on what suits us best.