How Where You Live Can Affect The Age At Which You Have Babies

Photo: Business Images/REX/Shutterstock.
More women over the age of 45 are having babies, especially in London, according to new data from the Office of National Statistics.

In the capital last year, there were an average of 2.8 births per 1,000 women aged 45 or older, compared to just 0.5 per 1,000 women in Wales, and 0.4 per 1,000 women in the North East.

The BBC reports that in England as a whole, the number of women aged 45 or over having babies has risen by around a third since 2009.

The number of women under 18 having babies differs regionally, too, roughly in reverse to the rate of older women giving birth. The rate is highest in the North East, where last year there were an average of 10.5 births per 1,000 women under 18, and lowest in London, where there were just 4.4. Wales fell somewhere in the middle, with 8.0 births per 1,000 women under 18.

Professor Adam Balen of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) told the BBC that "the age at which women are having their first baby has increased over the past few decades due to a variety of social, professional and financial factors," and said this rise is "unlikely to be reversed."

He also warned that fertility steadily declines with age once women reach their late-twenties, adding: "Later maternity can involve a greater risk of miscarriage, a more complicated labour, and medical intervention at the birth."

Further information on fertility and conception is available on the NHS website.

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