WATCH: Does having kids actually make you happier?

- Parents are notorious for trying to nudge their childless friends into having babies. Alright parents, answer truthfully- but does it make you happier? Not if you're living in the United States. New research soon to be published in the American Journal of Sociology looks at how parents and non-parents from 22 different countries rate their own happiness.

American parents came in dead last, rating themselves 12% unhappier than those who are childless. In only 8 of the countries did parents describe themselves as being happier. So what's the deal? Parenting is stressful everywhere- so researchers say it comes down to our lack of social policies that support parents.

They were astonished to find that the negative effects of parenthood were explained almost entirely by the high cost of childcare and the low number of paid sick and vacation policies, compared with other countries.

The good news is, that means there are concrete solutions to closing this happiness gap. We can subsidize childcare and expand access to paid vacation and sick leave. These changes are already happening- slowly but surely- at the state and city level. California recently boosted family leave benefits and Chicago and San Diego now have paid sick leave. The rest of the country needs to catch up. Our happiness depends on it.

Up Next:


Up Next

  • WATCH: Does having kids actually make you happier?
  • Teen with rare skin condition crowned homecoming queen under moonlight
  • 12-year-old girl saves sister, dad after he has seizure while driving
  • Stranger who lost grandson gives toddler $20 for toys in Target
  • J.J. Watt raises over $37 million for Harvey relief
  • Tim Duncan helps deliver over 170,000 pounds of food to US Virgin Islands
  • How to answer ‘So, tell me about yourself' in your next job interview
  • Boy gives play-by-play commentary for blind friend at AFL game
  • Kitten brothers found in two separate car engines
  • Newborn makes it through Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma