Climate change is another worry for prospective parents

ABC News-Ipsos poll finds that a quarter of American 18-45 year olds have climate change-related doubts about having children

The author(s)
  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Johnny Sawyer Senior Research Manager, US, Public Affairs
  • Jeremy Golden Research Analyst
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Washington, DC, December 8, 2022- A new survey of American 18-45 year olds by ABC News and Ipsos finds that climate change, particularly the impact of climate change on the next generation, is a concern to majority of this group. Perhaps as a consequence, almost a quarter of this cohort say climate change has made them reconsider having a child in the future. However, fewer than one in five are very concerned about the impact of climate change on them personally.

ABC News Graphic

1. Younger Americans are concerned about the impact of climate change, but more on the future than the here and now.

  • Three quarters (75%) are very or somewhat concerned about the impact of climate change on future generations. A similar 71% of parents are concerned about the impact on their children.
  • Three in five (61%) are concerned about the impact on their community with slightly fewer, 55%, concerned about the impact on them as individuals.
  • Partisanship appears to be the biggest driver of differing opinions on the topic with Democrats highly concerned and fewer Republicans expressing worry.

2. However, levels of worry about the impact of the climate on the next generation are less prevalent in this group.

  • Two in five (42%) report being very or somewhat worried about bringing a child into the world because of climate change.

3. A quarter of younger Americans say climate change has impacted their decisions about having children.

  • People under 35 are more likely to report climate impacting child-bearing decisions compared to those slightly older, 35-45 years old.

About the Study

This ABC News/Ipsos Poll was conducted November 14 to November 16, 2022 by Ipsos using the probability-based KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 1,328 adults aged 18 to 45 in the United States.

The survey was conducted using KnowledgePanel, the most well-established online probability-based panel that is representative of the adult US population. Our recruitment process employs a scientifically developed addressed-based sampling methodology using the latest Delivery Sequence File of the USPS – a database with full coverage of all delivery points in the US. Households invited to join the panel are randomly selected from all available households in the U.S. Persons in the sampled households are invited to join and participate in the panel. Those selected who do not already have internet access are provided a tablet and internet connection at no cost to the panel member. Those who join the panel and who are selected to participate in a survey are sent a unique password-protected log-in used to complete surveys online. As a result of our recruitment and sampling methodologies, samples from KnowledgePanel cover all households regardless of their phone or internet status and findings can be reported with a margin of sampling error and projected to the general population.

The study was conducted in both English and Spanish. The data were weighted to adjust for gender by age, race/ethnicity, education, Census region, metropolitan status, household income, party identification, and parental status by gender. The demographic benchmarks came from the US Census Bureau’s 2021 Current Population Survey (CPS). Party ID benchmarks were from recent ABC News/Washington Post telephone polls. The weighting categories were as follows:

  • Gender (Male, Female) by Age (18–24, 25–34, 35–45)
  • Race/Hispanic Ethnicity (White Non-Hispanic, Black Non-Hispanic, Other or 2+ Races Non-Hispanic, Hispanic)
  • Education (High School graduate or less, Some College, Bachelor and beyond)
  • Census Region (Northeast, Midwest, South, West)
  • Metropolitan status (Metro, non-Metro)
  • Household Income (Under $25,000, $25,000-$49,999, $50,000-$74,999, $75,000-$99,999, $100,000-$149,999, $150,000+)
  • Party ID (Democrat, Republican, Independent, Something else)
  • Parental status by gender (Male parent, Male non-parent, Female parent, Female non-parent)

The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3.0 percentage points at the 95% confidence level, for results based on the entire sample of adults. The margin of sampling error takes into account the design effect, which was 1.28. The margin of sampling error is higher and varies for results based on sub-samples. Sampling error is only one potential source of error. There may be other unmeasured non-sampling error in this or any poll. In our reporting of the findings, percentage points are rounded off to the nearest whole number. As a result, percentages in a given table column may total slightly higher or lower than 100%. In questions that permit multiple responses, columns may total substantially more than 100%, depending on the number of different responses offered by each respondent.


About Ipsos

Ipsos is one of the largest market research and polling companies globally, operating in 90 markets and employing over 18,000 people.

Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. Our 75 solutions are based on primary data from our surveys, social media monitoring, and qualitative or observational techniques.


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Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has been listed on the Euronext Paris since July 1, 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and Mid-60 indices and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service (SRD).ISIN code FR0000073298, Reuters ISOS.PA, Bloomberg IPS:FP

The author(s)
  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Johnny Sawyer Senior Research Manager, US, Public Affairs
  • Jeremy Golden Research Analyst