Higher Education Levels and Developing Careers Are Reasons Behind Women Over 40 Having More Babies
The ONS report suggested more women were having babies later in life because more women are staying in education longer, careers are becoming more important, and the cost of having a child is rising.
The report said: “In most developed countries, women have been increasingly delaying childbearing to later in life, which has resulted in rising fertility rates among older women.
“This may be due to a number of factors such as increased female participation in higher education and the labor force, the increasing importance of a career, the rising costs of childbearing, labor market uncertainty and housing factors.
“Rising fertility rates at older ages have affected the average age of mothers, which has been increasing since 1975, reaching 30.3 years in 2015.”
A spokeswoman for the British Pregnancy Advisory Service said: “The trend towards older motherhood is here to stay, and there are many understandable reasons why women today are waiting longer to start or expand their families than those in previous decades.
“Rather than bemoaning this development, we should seek to understand and support the decisions women make.
“More affordable childcare and improved maternity rights may make it easier for some women to start their families earlier if they wish, but we also need to ensure we have high quality reproductive healthcare services configured to meet women’s needs, whatever the age at which they conceive.”
The ONS report also said more than a quarter (27.5%) of births in 2015 were to mothers born outside the UK – the highest level on record.
This percentage has increased every year since 1990, when it was 11.6%.
The long-term rise in babies being born outside marriage or civil partnership has also continued, the ONS said, with 47.7% of all babies in 2015 born outside marriage or a civil partnership, up slightly on the previous year.
In 2015, fertility rates decreased for women in all age groups under 25, and increased for all age groups 30 and over compared with 2014.
Women aged 30 to 34 have had the highest fertility of any age group since 2004, when it was 25 to 29.
Overall, there were 697,852 live births in England and Wales in 2015, an increase of 0.4% from 2014.
In 2015, women had an average of 1.82 children each, down from 1.83 in 2014.
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This article originally appeared on: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/women-over-40-having-more-8413570