For the first time ever, more children were born last year in England and Wales to women aged 35 years and over than to those under the age of 25. Since 1968, birth rates for women under age 25 in England and Wales have dropped by nearly two-thirds while birth rates for women 35 and older have almost doubled. Dr. David Richmond, president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, believes that the trend of later parenthood is unlikely to reverse “due to a variety of social, professional, and financial factors.” He did however stress that these later maternities come at greater risk to mothers and children, and said that society should be doing more to support women who hope to start families earlier. “Maternity pay, job security, access to flexible working, and the cost of childcare are all prohibitive factors [to starting families],” said Richmond. The number of babies born to women age 20 and younger was nearly half of what it was in 1999, and only 53 percent of all births were to couples who were married or in a civil partnership.
Read the full story at The Guardian.