The average age women across Europe are becoming mothers for the first time is getting older, data has revealed.
According to the Office for National Statistics, the average age for women to become first-time mothers is 28.6. The data comes from 2015 (the latest recorded results), but it’s clear from the previous year’s data that women are leaving motherhood to slightly later every year.
In 2014, the average age for first-time motherhood was 28.5.
Men appear to be leaving it later before they become dads; the average age of all fathers to babies born in 2015 (not just first-time dads) was 33.2 years old, compared to the average age of mothers (not just first-time mums), which was 30.3 years.
Nicola Haines, Vital Statistics Outputs Branch, ONS, commented on the findings:
“The average age of mums and dads in England and Wales has increased by almost four years over the last four decades.
At the birth of a child in 2015, fathers averaged 33.2 years of age and mothers 30.3 years.
Falling birth rates among the under-30s and rising birth rates at older ages reflect trends evident since the mid-1970s to delay childbearing to later ages.”
Interestingly, 84 per cent of the recorded births in 2015 were to parents who were already married, in a civil partnership or cohabiting.
Of the remainder, 10 per cent were registered by parents living at separate addresses, and just 5.3 per cent were registered by the mother alone.
That figure has slightly fallen over the last 10 years from seven per cent in 2005. In 1986, for comparison, 7.2 per cent of births were registered by just the mother.
This information comes after it was revealed that the number of women who gave birth over the age of 40 was higher in the UK than the amount women who gave birth under the age of 20.