67% Gen Z, Young Millennials Choose Pets Over Kids

A recent survey shows a large number of Americans are choosing pets over parenthood.

Due in part to costs, 40% said they are choosing pets over kids, rising to a staggering 67% for the Gen Z / young millennials age group.

USA Today Blueprint surveyed 1,000 dog owners nationwide. 

Nationwide, 67% of people ages 18 to 26 say they are choosing pets over parenthood, at least for now. This percentage drops to 43% for ages 27 to 42 and to 28% for ages 43 to 58.

The Northeast has the highest percentage of dog owners (61%) who chose their dog over having a child, followed by the West, Midwest and Southwest.

The Southeast (21%) has the lowest percentage of people who chose dogs over children.

Almost three-quarters (74%) of those surveyed and 98% Gen Z/young millennials say that the cost of a child was the main reason they chose to get a dog. More than 80% of survey respondents opting out of parenthood said caring for a dog is easier.



Even though dogs cost less, the average cost of canine ownership is $376 a month or $4,512 a year, per USA Today Blueprint. A majority of owners (91%) have experienced financial stress over the cost of dog ownership.

Nearly 50% of survey respondents said they consider their dog when making career, travel and romantic decisions.

Nearly 60% of respondents say they consider their dog when it comes to housing options.

Dogs play the greatest role in decision-making for people ages 18 to 26. Nearly 90% of this age group say they consider their dog when making decisions about their career, and 80% say they think of their dog when making romantic decisions.

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