Women having fewer children than ever before

Motherhood

Women in England and Wales are having fewer children than ever before, according to new figures released by the Office of National Statistics.

On average, women are now having 1.9 children – the lowest on record and a fall from their mothers who had 2.2 children on average.

In total, 18 per cent of women born in 1971 had no children at all, compared with 11 per cent of women in their mother’s generation.

The decrease is thought to be caused by a number of women choosing not to have any children. One-fifth of women in the UK and Wales is now childless.

Teenage motherhood has also dropped with just six per cent of women having at least one child before they were 20 years old.

Following this pattern, the statistics show that women are having children later in life. By their 30th birthday, women today are on average likely to have had one child, compared to their mothers who likely had 1.8 children by this time.

Speaking about the statistics, Emily Knipe of the Office for National Statistics said, “It’s not just a biological factor of people leaving it too late.”

“There is a growing body of evidence that suggests people are choosing not to have children.”

Alison Simpson
About the author

Alison is the Digital Content Editor for WeAreTheCity. She has a BA Honours degree in Journalism and History from the University of Portsmouth. She has previously worked in the marketing sector and in a copywriting role. Alison’s other passions and hobbies include writing, blogging and travelling.

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