Not everyone chooses to start a family, but it turns out that those of us who do are making it happen later and later in life. In fact, new research has revealed that the average age of new parents in England and Wales has increased for the tenth year in a row, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Last year, the same report revealed that the average age for new mums was 30.6 years old. This year, that number has risen to 31 years old, meaning modern women are choosing to have children seven years later than the generation before them, as just a decade ago the average age of a first time mum was 24.
The statistics, which were recorded as part of the ONS annual parenthood report, show that just under half of the female population (48 per cent) in England and Wales who were born in 1988 and therefore turned 30 in 2018, are yet to have children. Meanwhile in 1990, only 37 per cent of women reached the age of 30 without becoming a mother – that’s almost a 10 per cent rise.
That’s not all – the amount of children parents have has also seen a change over the years as the report highlighted that 18 per cent of women who turned 45 last year had just one child, compared to 14 per cent of women who turned 45 in 1991. While a further 19 per cent of women who turned 45 in 2018 had chosen not to have children at all.
As reported by The Sun, Clare Murphy, of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service explained that this new trend of later parenthood is due to many factors and a shift in priorities meaning many want to finish education, establish a career and save for a house before becoming parents.
‘Women are often berated for leaving it too long to start families,’ she said. ‘In fact most couples try to make the best choices in recognition of the huge responsibility of having a child.’
Makes sense to us!