British mothers over 45 triple in a decade

In Great Britain the number of women having babies over the age of 45 has more than tripled in just over a decade as couples delay having children for career and financial reasons, according to official figures.
A new analysis of birth records for 2011 published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows a major shift towards women having babies later in life, with even mothers in their early 20s becoming increasingly rare.

They show that less a quarter of births England and Wales in 2011 involved mothers under the age of 25 – half the proportion seen in 1970 and the lowest level since records began in 1938.

At the same time women over the age of 35 accounted for a fifth of the total in maternity wards, almost four times as many as in 1977, while those having babies over the age of 45 dramatically higher than a generation ago.

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