Women in their 40s are now having more babies than those in their 20s
If you’re waiting to have kids later in life, you’re not alone. A new study proved that women in general are having babies at older ages (at least in England and Wales, though there’s a good chance it’s a trend all-over).
By measuring the general fertility rate, the findings showed that there were (on average) 15.2 births in every 1,000 woman in their 40s compared to 14.5 births for the same range of women in their 20s.
It’s the first time the birthrate for this demographic has beat out their younger counterparts in over 70 years. The last time it happened was 1947 (right after World War II).
There are lots of contributing factors that make this not a super surprising number. The people who did the study believe that not only are women waiting longer due to their higher education, but better access to birth control and sex education have meant women now have the tools and ability to wait longer before starting a family.
Since 1975, the average age for a woman giving birth has been slowly on the rise. Right now, it’s 30.3-years-old.
While it’s amazing that women are waiting longer before they begin to experience the joys of motherhood, there are definitely precautions to be aware of. As Prof Adam Balen (the chair of the British Fertility society) said, “We know that female fertility starts to decline gradually from the late ’20s and more rapidly from the mid-30s onwards. While the risks should never be overplayed, men and women should be aware that reproductive outcomes are poorer in older women.”
Which doesn’t mean you need to get pregnant like tomorrow. Obviously, plenty of older women are having happy babies from totally healthy pregnancies. It simply means you need to be smart about the whole thing.