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More Women Are Getting Pregnant In Their 30s Than Their 20s

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For the first time ever, more women are postponing their pregnancies until after they are 30. This is the first time that the number of first-time mothers who are pregnant in their 30s has surpassed those women who get pregnant in their 20s.

According to ELLE , the rise in pregnancies of older women, and in particular in England and Wales, is due to more women shifting their priorities around. That’s because they are spending more time getting their college degrees and working on their careers before they begin working on their families. Also, the cost of raising a family has made women want to postpone their pregnancy plans until they know they are ready to settle down and have children. As a result, the number of women having kids later in life has almost doubled, especially for those who are 40 years old or older.

The Office of National Statistics says that in 2017, there were over 395,000 pregnancies among women in their 20s, whereas there were 398,000 pregnancies for women over the age of 30. Women aged 40 and up were the only group of first-time moms that saw an increase in their pregnancy rate, at about 2.6 percent.

There’s also more good news for worrying parents: teenage pregnancies are on the decline. Only 18 teens out of every 1,000 got pregnant in 2017, compared to 48 out of 1,000 teens during the early 1990s. Instead, today’s teens are spending more time either studying, applying for college, or want to be in a long-term relationship before making any decisions that might alter their future.

A spokesperson for the Office of National Statistics, Kathlyn Littleboy, suggests that one of the reasons why younger people are not getting pregnant as often as before is because women are spending more time educating themselves than ever before. She said, “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.”

There are also more women raising their children as single moms or holding off marriage until they are ready. Figures show that this past year revealed the highest proportion of pregnancies outside of marriage or civil partnership. At 58.7 percent, it’s the highest rate England and Wales has ever seen.

READ NEXT: What Science Says About Getting Pregnant At 18

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