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Lifestyles of Couples Without Children - UK - December 2014

“Whilst childfree couples are more satisfied with the quality of time they spend together, they could benefit from more offerings geared to them as a unit, rather than individuals with similar interests. This would include activities or classes where couples could work towards a shared goal and develop mutual interests.”
– Ina Mitskavets, Senior Lifestyles and Consumer Analyst

This issue discusses the following key topics:

  • Catering better to the leisure needs of childfree couples 
  • Measuring demand for childfree zones at venues

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Methodology
        • Abbreviations
        • Executive Summary

            • Lifestyles without compromises
              • Figure 1: Reasons for not being sure about having children, August 2014
            • High demand for childfree zones
              • Figure 2: Demand for childfree zones, by gender, August 2014
            • Families are perceived to be benefiting from better discounts
              • Figure 3: Attitudes towards venues catering to families with children, August 2014
            • Children alter financial dynamics in relationships
              • Figure 4: Relationship dynamics, by presence of children, August 2014
            • What we think
            • Issues and Insights

                • Catering better to the leisure needs of childfree couples
                  • The facts
                    • The implications
                      • Measuring demand for childfree zones at venues
                        • The facts
                          • The implications
                          • Trend Application

                              • Trend: Play Ethic
                                • Trend: Who are the Joneses?
                                  • Trend: Old Gold
                                  • Broader Market Environment

                                    • Key points
                                      • Average family size continues to shrink
                                        • Figure 5: Estimated family size distribution for women born 1920-67 who are assumed to have completed their childbearing, England and Wales
                                      • More women postpone having children into their thirties
                                        • Figure 6: Average number of live-born children by age 30 and completed family size, cohorts born 1920-82, England and Wales
                                      • The number of children being born through IVF is rising
                                        • Figure 7: Trends in live birth rate per IVF cycle started, UK, 1991-2011
                                      • House prices continue outpacing earnings
                                        • Figure 8: Ratio of median house prices to median earnings, 2000-13
                                      • Cost of raising a child continues to rise
                                        • The right to ask for flexible working extended
                                          • Childfree couples have a more affluent socio-economic profile
                                            • Figure 9: Social grade and annual household income, by presence of children in the household, August 2014
                                          • Families have been hit harder in the downturn…
                                            • Figure 10: Impact of the economic downturn, by presence of children in the household, August 2014
                                          • …and continue feeling the financial squeeze
                                            • Figure 11: Current financial situation, by presence of children in the household, August 2014
                                        • The Consumer – Plans for Starting a Family

                                          • Key points
                                            • Most childfree couples are certain about not wanting to have children
                                              • Figure 12: Plans for starting a family in the future, August 2014
                                            • Decision to have a baby is anything but straightforward
                                              • Figure 13: Plans for starting a family in the future, by woman’s age, August 2014
                                            • Couples do not want to make compromises to their lifestyle
                                              • Figure 14: Reasons for not being sure about having children, August 2014
                                              • Figure 15: Screenshots of advertising for EggBanxx and an egg freezing party organised by EggBanxx, November 2014
                                            • AB couples most likely to prize their way of life
                                              • Figure 16: Selected reasons for not being sure about having children, by social grade, August 2014
                                          • The Consumer – Relationship Satisfaction

                                            • Key points
                                              • Childfree couples dedicate more time to maintaining their relationship
                                                • Figure 17: Relationship satisfaction – proportions who are satisfied with each aspect, by presence of children, August 2014
                                              • Amount and quality of leisure time rises with greater affluence
                                                • Figure 18: Selected aspects of relationship satisfaction – proportions who are satisfied with each aspect, by household income, August 2014
                                            • The Consumer – Demand for Childfree Zones

                                              • Key points
                                                • Nearly seven in 10 adults without kids welcome the concept of childfree zones
                                                  • Figure 19: Demand for childfree zones, by gender, August 2014
                                                • Demand for childfree areas stronger amongst affluent couples
                                                  • Figure 20: Demand for childfree zones, by household income, August 2014
                                                • People more tolerant of the youngest children in public places
                                                  • Figure 21: Demand for childfree zones, by age of children, August 2014
                                                • Childfree areas in practice
                                                  • Airlines
                                                      • Figure 22: Promotional images from the new fleet of Boeing 737 Max aircraft introduced by Thomson Airways, November 2014
                                                    • Cafés and restaurants
                                                        • Figure 23: Tweet by owner of three Michelin-starred restaurant Alinea in Chicago, US, November 2014
                                                      • Hotels
                                                        • Figure 24: Screenshot from Thomson Couples website, November 2014
                                                    • The Consumer – Venues Catering to Families

                                                      • Key points
                                                        • Most childfree adults feel families benefit from better discounts
                                                          • Figure 25: Attitudes towards venues catering to families with children, August 2014
                                                          • Figure 26: Thorpe Park’s Fright Nights, November 2014
                                                        • Childfree affluents feel under-served by the holiday industry
                                                          • Figure 27: Agreement with the statement about whether families are better catered to on holidays, compared with couples without children (any agree responses are shown), by household income, August 2014
                                                        • Two Together railcard pioneers travel discounts for couples
                                                          • Figure 28: Screenshot from the Two Together Railcard website, November 2014
                                                      • The Consumer – Short-term Priorities

                                                        • Key points
                                                          • Parenthood has a bearing on future plans
                                                            • Figure 29: Future plans, by presence of children, August 2014
                                                          • Affluent childfree couples most likely to make holiday plans
                                                            • Figure 30: Plans to go travelling, save/invest, and get a new job/better-paid job in the next three years, by presence of children and household income, August 2014
                                                          • Childfree couples less settled in their aspirations
                                                            • Spending priorities change with presence of kids
                                                              • Figure 31: Selected things that extra money is spent on, by presence of children in the household, September 2014
                                                          • The Consumer – Relationship Dynamics

                                                            • Key points
                                                              • Making relationship more of a priority
                                                                • Figure 32: Relationship dynamics, by presence of children, August 2014
                                                                • Figure 33: Screenshot from the Red Letter Days website, November 2014
                                                              • Children change financial dynamics in relationships
                                                                • Figure 34: Relationship dynamics, by presence of children, August 2014
                                                                • Figure 35: New ad campaign for thinkThin protein bars, November 2014
                                                              • Fashion brands could encourage couples to put more effort into looking good for each other
                                                                • Figure 36: Relationship dynamics, by length of relationship, August 2014

                                                            Companies Covered

                                                            To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                            Lifestyles of Couples Without Children - UK - December 2014

                                                            £1,995.00 (Excl.Tax)