When you go from 2 children to 3, that is what happens to parents; zone defense. A recent NYTimes article described a growing number of three-child households in Manhattan. Really? With some of the highest apartment prices in the world, could that be true? It turns out the article describes the significant increase in three-child families with incomes in the 200K to 400K range. So we’re not talking your typical American family here by a long shot.Community does play a role in family size decisions. For people in normal income brackets who frequently use the subway system, holding on to your child/children continuously is a priority. I am often on the NYC subways and I am personally much calmer when I see two parents and each has one child rather than one parent with 2 or (Yikes) 3 children all to him/herself. The high cost/small square footage of Manhattan apartments makes it impractical to have a large family size. So it follows that many couples, when expecting their second or third child, move out to the suburbs. The one child family is still the most common family size in NYC.
This article reminded me of when family size researchers altered the standard FamSize question and began to ask: If money is not at all a concern, how many children would you and your spouse like to have?