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And the 'Ideal' Age to Have a Baby Is...

New poll reveals "ideal" age to have a baby
Photograph by Getty Images/iStockphoto

According to the people of America, the "ideal" age to have your first kid is 25 for a woman and 27 for a man. Pretty interesting, considering it seems like we're always hearing about couples waiting later and later to start a family. Guess that means the majority of Americans think we should all just get on with it already.

The Gallup poll surveyed more than 5,000 people, and found that 58 percent thought a woman should start having children in her late teens or early 20s (sorry, what!?), while only 43 percent said that men should have kids by age 25.

Hmmm ... if that doesn't give you pause, it should. How do you possibly pack in a college degree, a sound career, a marriage and kids so fast? And how do we expect millennials—who, by the way, are knee-deep in student loan debt and can't get jobs for the life of them—to pump out kids and actually be able to support them?

Well, here's the thing: the respondents' opinions varied greatly by their own education level, which you basically cannot ignore when considering these stats. Unsurprisingly, college-educated poll-takers were far more likely to think that women should wait at least until they're 26 or older to start having kids. And that's probably because it's the way things are trending these days: Just 3 percent of moms with a college degree actually give birth before 25, and 31 percent of moms with a bachelor's degree wait until 35 or later. On the flip side, the less education someone had, the more likely they were to feel babies should factor into the equation sooner.

But this whole hurry-up-and-make-babies news sure has some ladies understandably fired up. As Jezebel writer Erin Gloria Ryan hilariously notes, we should all put into perspective just what being 25 these days actually means.

A snippet from her reaction to the study:

"What the f---k, America? Who raised you (you = America) to think that it would be perfectly hunky-dory if this nation's 24-year-olds went out and started knocking each other up, just, en masse? THINK OF A 24-YEAR-OLD YOU KNOW. Why are you encouraging them to have a baby? Circa 2013 twenty-four-year-olds, adjusted backward for immaturity inflation, are only the 1973 equivalent of 13-year-olds, child readiness-wise. In 1945 years, 2013 24-year-olds are only 6 years old!"

And she's not alone. Babble blogger Monica Bielnko wrote yesterday: "Do you know what I was doing at 25? Dancing on bars after 4 too many shots of Jagermeister."

OK, so to be fair, not every twentysomething is out there behaving like one of the Jersey Shore kids. (Though, hey, even Snooki's had a kid by now.) But still, the study's findings are curious.

Poll-takers over 65 were the ones most likely to feel a woman should have a baby at a younger age, which makes sense considering their generation was probably all done with their baby-making by then. But a real eye-opener was just how many surveyed between the ages of 18 and 29 think that they or their peers should be reproducing—a whopping 60 percent!

What was the "ideal" age to have a kid for you?

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