According to the data released by the office for National Statistics (ONS), women in the age group of 35 and above have given birth in large numbers than those under the age of 25.
The data revealed that the newborns to mothers aged at least 35 accounted for 21% of births in England and Wales last year, compared with 20% to those under 25. There were 138,592 live births to women under 25 and 144,181 to women 35 and over. There were three times as many births to mothers aged 25 to 34 than to those under 25.
‘Social, professional and financial factors are influencing more women to postpone the child bearing age from 25 years to 35 years.’
AdvertisementDr David Richmond, president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (RCOG), said, "It's undeniable that the age in which women are having their first baby has increased over the past few decades, due to a variety of social, professional and financial factors. But it's important that both men and women are aware that fertility starts to decline from the mid-30s onwards."
He added, "As well as it potentially taking longer to get pregnant, later maternity can involve a greater risk of miscarriage, a more complicated labor and medical intervention at birth."
The statistics also revealed that fathers tend to be older than mothers. The average age of all fathers increased to 33.1 in 2014, from 32.9 the previous year. For mothers, the average age was 30.2, compared with 30 in the previous year. The average age of first-time mothers was 28.5 in 2014, up slightly from 28.3 in 2013.
The number of births to women in their forties was above 29,000 for fourth year in a row. The number of babies born to women aged 20 and younger was almost half of what it was in 1999, at 839 last year.
Richmond said, "More could also be done as a society to support women who would like to start a family earlier. For example, maternity pay, job security, access to flexible working and the cost of childcare are all prohibitive factors."