Changes in lifestyle lead to women having their first child as late as 28: will this tendency continue?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provided new data on demographics of women who decided to have their first child. The figures show that a long-term trend towards delaying this important event is continuing and there are no signs of its probable stopping.
Back in 1970 the mean age of first-time moms was 21: nowadays it seems ridiculously young for having children. By the last year of the 20th century this age had risen to 24; as recently as in 2014 it was 26, and now it is 28. It is also now an established fact that women aged 30-34 are having more babies than those aged 25-29.
It is not surprising now to have a baby after you are 40, although it is still not very common (some 53 births per 1,000 women).
What is definitely looking very hopeful is that the teen pregnancy rate has declined: it seems that numerous governmental programs aimed at educating teens have had a positive effect.
The reasons for delaying having your first child are obvious: it is normal now for every woman to pursue higher education and a career, and more and more women wish to be financially independent of their husbands. Advances in birth control make planning a pregnancy easier than ever before.
Changes in our society are also evident from the fact that nearly 40 percent of babies are now born to unmarried mothers. This number has dramatically risen from as less as 4 percent in 1940 and some 10 percent in 1969.
The bad news is that the overall birth rate is still declining: there were 62.5 births per 1,000 women in 2015 and only 62.0 in 2016. It is, however, expected that this decline will be reversed very soon: we hope this prognosis is correct.