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Women 'are having children later'

More women are delaying having children, figures show.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS)  revealed that 49% of women giving birth were aged 30 or older, with 29.7 years the average age that women give birth in England and Wales.

Statistics show that the last time this was the average age for mothers was just after the Second World War in 1946 when 352,557 mothers of newborns were aged 30 or older - in 2011 this was the case for 351,945 babies.

Most of the babies born in England and Wales in 2010 were likely to have a mother aged 30-34, the figures revealed.

That year just under half (48%) of all infants born had mothers aged 30 and over, which had climbed from 47% in 2009 and 46% in 2000.

The most recent statistics from 2011 revealed that only 5% of mothers were under 20 - a number that has been falling in recent years.

An ONS spokesman described how the average age of mothers has increased since 1973.

He explained that this is as a result of the amount of women who have been putting off having children due to factors such as completing higher education, prioritising their careers, rising costs associated with child-bearing, housing factors and the lack of relationship stability.

Copyright Press Association 2013

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