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Average age for UK mums is now 30

By Emily Dugan

The average age of motherhood in England Wales has reached 30 for the first time since records began, as women increasingly opt to have children later in life.

The age at which women give birth has been edging up for years, as many choose to pursue careers before starting families.

In 2012, the average age of mothers was 29.8, rising to 30 in 2013, according to data from the Office for National Statistics. It is the first time the average age has surpassed the three-decade mark since the statistics were first recorded in 1938.

Families are also getting smaller, the data showed, with the average number of children per mother decreasing from 1.94 in 2012 to just 1.85 last year.

Overall, fewer babies were born to mothers of all age groups last year, with the biggest drop in the birth rate since 1975.

The number of live births decreased by 4.3% in a year – from 729,674 births in 2012 to 698,512 in 2013.

More than a quarter of births – 26.5% – were to foreign-born mothers, a small increase on the 2012 figure.

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