Pregnancies among women over 30 years has surpassed the number among women in their 20s for the first time ever.
The rise in pregnancies of older women, in England and Wales, is due to women spending more time in education, work and the rising opportunity costs of childbearing.
As a result, the pregnancy rate of older women have more than doubled for those aged 40 and over since 1990, according to the Office of National Statistics.
In 2017, there were 395,856 pregnancies among women in their 20s and 398,284 among women aged 30.
The increase in older pregnancies was met by an all-time-low of rates in women aged 25 and under. Women aged 40 and over were the only group to see an increase in their pregnancy rate (2.6 per cent).
Teenage pregnancies are also in decline, with 18 teenagers out of every 1,000 getting pregnant in 2017, compared to 48 out of 1,000 teenagers at the start of the 1990s.
Kathryn Littleboy, from the ONS’s vital statistics, explained: “Conception rates for women aged under 18 years in England and Wales decreased for the tenth year running in 2017.”
“Possible reasons for the continued decrease in teenage conception rates include improved sex and relationship education, better access to contraceptives and increased participation in higher education.”
The ONS figures also revealed the highest proportion of pregnancies outside of marriage or civil partnership ever recorded in England and Wales, at 58.7 per cent.
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