Researchers: Happiness level drops after birth of first child

(WIAT/WLNS) — A new study suggests the transition to parenthood may not be as happy as your new bundle of joy.

The study by the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research found many new parents experience a massive dip in happiness that could lead to declining birth rates.

Twenty-thousand couples took part in the study before and after childbirth and they rated their happiness on a 10-point scale.

After the birth of a first child, their happiness level dropped 1.5 points in the first year.

That drop is greater than the one-point drop after the death of a partner.

Slightly less than 30 percent of parents in the study did not report a decline in well-being.

Researchers also found parents who waited longer to have children were more highly educated and had a greater loss in happiness following childbirth.

That led to many couples in the study deciding to only have one child.

The original version of this story was first published on

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