‘Counting On’: Which Duggar Couple is On Pace to Beat Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar for the Most Kids?

The Duggar family might be a reality TV staple, but they ended up on TV for one distinct reason – the massive size of their family. Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar are the parents to an enormous group of kids, and now that several of them have started families of their own, fans are fixated on which Duggar kid will have the most children. While every married Duggar has begun having children, there is only one couple that is on pace to meet or exceed the number of children that Jim Bob and Michelle have.

How many times was Michelle Duggar pregnant?

Michelle and Jim Bob began their family in 1988 when they welcomed their first child together. While the family is now linked to an ultra-conservative Christian ministry that prohibits the use of birth control, their lives together didn’t start out that way. In fact, the couple didn’t have their first child until they were married for four years. Two years later, the couple welcomed twins Jana and John-David.

Michelle had at least sixteen subsequent pregnancies, including one set of twins and one pregnancy that ended in a miscarriage at 18 weeks. The family has also discussed additional miscarriages, but they’ve never gone into detail about when the losses happened or how far along into the pregnancies they occurred. All told, Michelle and Jim Bob have 19 living children.

The family’s youngest child, Josie, turned 10 in December 2019. So far, eight of the Duggar kids have gotten married and began families of their own. Currently, John-David Duggar’s wife, Abbie Burnett, is expecting their first child in January 2020. Rumors are also swirling that James Duggar, who recently turned 18, is courting, as well.

Joseph Duggar and Kendra Caldwell are on pace to have just as many kids as the Duggars

Joseph and Kendra married in 2018 and quickly got to work having children. In fact, Kendra delivered the couple’s first child, Garrett, precisely nine months after her wedding day. That wasn’t particularly surprising, though. Honeymoon babies are not particularly uncommon in the Duggar family’s social circle. What was a little shocking was how quickly the couple announced their second pregnancy. Within ten months of Garrett’s arrival, Joseph and Kendra announced they were expecting again. Their second child, Addison Renee, was born on Nov.2, just two years and two months after the couple wed, according to People.

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If Joseph and Kendra continue having children at their current rate, they could easily top Michelle and Jim Bob’s massive family size. Kendra is from a large family, and if she continues to have children at her current rate, she could, theoretically, have at least 19 more children. That would mean Joseph and Kendra could end up with as many as 21 children, without factoring in the possibility of multiples.

Jill Duggar and Anna Duggar are out of the running  

While there are a few Duggars who, theoretically, could have more than 19 kids, there are also a few Duggar kids who are officially out of the running for having more children than Michelle and Jim Bob. Jill Duggar and her husband, Derick Dillard, are holding steady at two children, and it doesn’t look like they plan to expand their family by 18 anytime soon. In fact, many fans believe that Jill and Derick can not have any more children, while other followers think they’re using birth control to plan the number of children they have.  

Jill and Derick married in 2014 and had their first child, Israel, pretty quickly. Two years later, Sam Dillard followed. Jill has not announced another pregnancy since. Even if she were to continue having one child every two and a half years or so, which would be her average considering that she has two children after five years of marriage, she wouldn’t even come close to having the number of children her parents had.  

Think about it, Michelle had her last child at 43 years old. If Jill’s fertility follows the same trend, that means Jill, at 28, has about 15 years of childbearing on her side. If she follows the current timeline, that means she could add six more children to her family. While eight children is a large family, it’s nowhere near the size of the Duggar clan.

Anna, who gave birth to her sixth child in November 2019, is also trailing behind Michelle Duggar. Anna married Joshua Duggar way back in 2008. The 31-year-old appears to have a child every two years, give or take a few months. If she were to have her last child at 43, Anna and Josh could add six more children to their family before they were done. Without any twins, that would put Anna and Josh’s family size at 12 children, which is still short of the number of children Michelle and Jim Bob have.