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More women having children later: 1 in 5 new mothers age 35 or over

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) indicate that more than half of the babies born in Britain in 2013 were born to women over 30, and 1 in 5 new mothers were 35 or older. The average first-time mother in the UK is now 28.3 years old. The trend towards older motherhood is being seen throughout the world, with the average age at first birth now around 30 years for women in Canada, the United States, and Australia. In contrast, there has been a significant decline in the number of births to women under age 25. Only 1 in 5 babies were born to women under age 25 in Britain in 2013.

The ONS report suggests many women are delaying motherhood to later ages so they can first pursue education and career opportunities. Another important factor influencing women’s childbearing decisions is “the instability of partnerships.” Interestingly, according to the ONS report, in 2013 there were differences between the group of older mothers and the younger mothers who had children before they turned 25. More than two thirds of the older mothers were married, whereas only 1 in 5 of the younger mothers were married.

Read more about delayed childbearing here.

Read more about the latest ONS figures here.

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