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The average age of first time mothers rises to 30.2

The average age of new mothers in England and Wales has risen to 30.2, according to new data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

pregnant belly

Mothers across England and Wales are increasingly giving birth later in life, according to new ONS data.

Fertility rates increased for women aged 30 and over, while they fell for younger age groups.

Increasing number of older mothers

In 1973, 135,255 babies were born to mothers over the age of 30 across England and Wales.

That number has been continually increasing since then and reached 359,823 in 2014.

While births in all over 30s age groups have increased, the overall number of births in England and Wales has been steadily declining.

This is due to the the decline in births from mothers under 30.

Why women are having children later

family

In 2013 the average age of women having a first birth was 30 years old, compared with 28.1 in 2012 and 26.7 in 2002.

The ONS report says that women have been delaying having a child for a number of reasons.

These include:

  • More women attending university.
  • More women going to work with the increasing importance of a career.
  • The rising costs of childrearing.
  • The instability of partnerships.

Elizabeth Duff, senior policy adviser at charity the National Childbirth Trust (NCT), said: "These women are often fit and well.

"There is no reason the majority should not have a straightforward pregnancy and a healthy baby.

"There are many reasons for women choosing to have their children later in life.

"This includes parents waiting until they are best placed to welcome their baby into a financially stable family setting."

Getting financially prepared for a new family

baby shoes on belly

Matthew Lloyd, head of life insurance at Confused.com says: 

"The ONS report highlights a number of reasons why women may choose to delay starting a family and it’s not surprising that the rising cost of raising children features within it.

"It’s sensible to consider your financial situation before starting a family and many new families are financially savvy.

"However, research has shown that only 20 per cent of families take out life insurance.

"Despite the financial pressures new parents face, I would urge them to find out more about life insurance and make sure their new families are properly protected."

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Lia Schopmeyer

Lia Schopmeyer, Digital marketing executive at Confused.com

Lia Schopmeyer is a digital marketing executive at Confused.com and a sci-fi aficionado. If she’s not busy defending the many plot holes in Lost, she’s probably re-watching Fringe.

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