Pregnancies among the over-30s have dramatically risen as women focus on their careers, according to new figures.
According to the figures released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), the number of women aged over 40 conceiving has more than doubled to 15.1 per 1,000 women.
The number of women deciding to have a baby in their late 30s has also increased by similarly high levels.
The ONS has suggested that more women are leaving it later to conceive as they are increasingly focused on their career and the rising costs of housing and bringing up children.
The ONS report said, “Reasons for an increased number of women conceiving at ages 30 and above include increased participation in higher education, increased female participation in the labour force, the increasing importance of a career, the rising opportunity costs of childbearing, labour market uncertainty and housing factors.”
The number of teenage pregnancies has also dropped, with the number of under-18s falling to 21 per 1,000.
The ONS suggested that the fall in teenage pregnancy may be down to changing attitudes with more young people focusing on staying in education for longer, improved access to contraceptives and the stigma of being a teenage mother.
However, the statistics revealed that the most popular age to become pregnant is still between the ages of 25 and 29 in England and Wales.