According to a study published in the journal Human Reproduction, the average American dad is now about 3.5 years older than fathers of newborns about forty years ago. Researchers at the Stanford University School Of Medicine found that the average age of first-time dads in America was 30.9 years old in 2015, compared to an average of 27.4 years old in 1972.
The study found that men over 40 accounted for 9% of all U.S. births, and Asian-American dads were the oldest, with an average age at an upwards of 36 years old.
The researchers had analyzed live births reported in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Vital Statistics System from 1972 to 2015 — a total of 168,867,480 births — and studied the paternal ages of dads involved.
Senior author of the study, Michael Eisenberg, MD, said in a statement that first-time fathers' advancing ages may have repercussions for the U.S. population as a whole. After all, men having children later in life means that they may have fewer children than they would have if they had kids earlier.
However, that's not to say that it's a bad thing for dads to have children later. Older dads are also more likely to have more stable jobs and resources to provide for those children.
Researchers told CNN that the upward swing in age might have something to do with increased use of contraception, longer life expectancy, and more women in the workforce.
Similarly, a report released earlier this year from the CDC found that more moms are having their first babies in their early 30s as opposed to their early 20s. Those findings, the report said, could be attributed to mothers waiting longer to have children, or even the drop in teen birth rates.
There are, of course, plenty of reasons why people might wait to have children — but one thing that's for sure is that many of us don't seem to be bowing to any pressure to have kids sooner these days.
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