The decision whether or not to have children is intensely personal. There are dozens of reasons for and against – reasons that may or may not change with age or circumstance. With more and more options as far as birth control and career paths, options for single people to feel fulfilled in other ways, and the like, we’re seeing more young people consciously decide to live child-free lives.

If you can’t fathom this choice but want to understand, here are 16 people willing to explain (even though they really don’t have to).

16. The Man has no one to blame but himself.

Bravo to the kids for making smart and thoughtful decisions.

15. Financial reasons are a big one.

They factor into this decision way more than they did twenty or fifty years ago.

14. This is not hyperbole.

And that’s just for a normal, no complication birth.

13. Young adults have so much more to consider now.

Where do they even start?

12. A short checklist.

This is only the beginning.

11. Asking for help is frowned upon, you know.

The necessary village has all but disappeared.

10. There’s no hiding this fact anymore.

You don’t have to be a detective to figure it out.

9. You can’t have your cake and eat it, too.

I hate that expression but in this case, it fits.

8. Don’t underestimate the lure of financial security.

People don’t want to live paycheck to paycheck – with a kid – if they don’t have to.

Image Credit: Bored Panda

7. I don’t want to should be a valid response.

You don’t owe anyone an excuse as to why not.

6. In a nutshell.

A very direct nutshell, which is the best kind.

5. Everyone is better off this way.

Except maybe society in 50 years, but that’s not your problem.

4. It’s not easy.

But the solution is simple.

3. They actually are thinking of others.

Even those kids who are yet to exist.

2. The difference between wanting and being able to have responsibly.

It is heartbreaking, and we’re all going to pay the price eventually.

1. To be fair, it is a sign of a declining society.

But we’re not going to fix that problem by forcing people who don’t want them to have children.

These are really good reasons. There are also excellent reasons to have children, so to each their own!

Beautiful, isn’t it?