Katie Martinz and Conrad Martinz (25) and blonde Cavoodle Bailey are living the child-free dream. Picture: Flavio Brancaleone
Katie Martinz and Conrad Martinz (25) and blonde Cavoodle Bailey are living the child-free dream. Picture: Flavio Brancaleone

Table for two as more go childless

WHAT was a family pack is now a treat for two as fewer couples have kids and supermarkets scramble to keep their products the right size for the developing demographic.

In five years, it's estimated there'll be 30,000 more childless couples in this country than there are mum and dad families - a growing trend since the 1970s.

Social demographer Mark McCrindle said young women in Australia "pushing back child-bearing years from their 20s to their 30s" was affecting "everything, marketing and even portion sizes".

Bulk packs are changing to reflect the growing trend of childless families. Picture: Chris Eastman
Bulk packs are changing to reflect the growing trend of childless families. Picture: Chris Eastman

"At supermarkets, a family box of pies used to have six pies - now it's more common to find four," he said. "The same for a box of Magnums or Cornettos, four is now the more common family pack."

Another impact will be on housing - with fewer people per household, it's expected more dwellings will be required in the future to accommodate them all.

Edith Cowan University senior lecturer Dr Bronwyn Harman said previously, childless people had "hidden" in caring professions such as doctors, nurses, nuns and priests, whereas now it was more "socially acceptable".

Katie Martinz and Conrad Martinz are well aware of the effects having children could have on careers and weekends away. Picture: Flavio Brancaleone
Katie Martinz and Conrad Martinz are well aware of the effects having children could have on careers and weekends away. Picture: Flavio Brancaleone

OPINION: HAVING A 'FUR BABY' DOESN'T MAKE YOU A PARENT

The number of couples with children at home has been declining since 1976 with this demographic now accounting for just 45 per cent of families, while those without children has climbed to 38 per cent.

In 1986 about one in five women were likely to remain childless - now it's one in four. Rearing children is an expensive enterprise.

"We've done a lot of analysis on how much it costs to raise a child to independence and for the average family of 1.6 kids, it's more than $1 million on the child rearing and education," Mr McCrindle said.

Zetland couple Katie, 23, and Conrad Martinz, 25, said the financial burden was a large factor in their decision not to have children.

"We want to focus on our ­careers, we're not going to be giving them enough attention," Ms Martinz told The Saturday Telegraph.

"And we can go away for weekends from Friday night to Sunday … there is no burden of thinking of the child."