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Women having children later in life due to rising living cost: Report

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Fri, June 7, 2019  /  03:07 am
Women having children later in life due to rising living cost: Report

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in the UK, women are focusing more time on education and work instead of having children. (Shutterstock/Olena Yakobchuk)

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in the UK, women are focusing more time on education and work instead of having children.

Figures from 2017 show that for the first time since records began, more women aged 30 and above are expecting than women in their 20s. There were 398,284 pregnancies among women aged 30 and above, slightly above 395,856 pregnancies among women in their 20s in 2017.

For those aged 40 and over, the number of pregnancies has doubled compared to the 1990s. According to the ONS data, since 2016, there has been an increase in the pregnancy rate among women aged 40 and over -- the only age group with an increase when it comes to pregnancy.

The rate of teenage pregnancy continues to decline. In 2017, the rate stood at 18 pregnancies for every 1,000 teenagers, which was a third of the number in the early 1900s with 48 pregnancies for every 1,000 teenagers.

Read also: Ideal timing between pregnancies is at least one year: Study

The fall in pregnancies is combined with the fact that when pregnancies do happen, some are ended prematurely. According to the ONS, in 2017, a fifth of all conceptions led to an abortion.

Sexual health charity Family Planning Association (FPA) chief executive Natika H. Halil told The Guardian that women were delaying their pregnancies due to higher living costs including mortgage and less pressure and desire to start a family.

Kathryn Littleboy, from the ONS’ vital statistics output branch, attributed these factors as an explanation of why women aged 40 years and above was the only group to see a rise in pregnancies.

The traditional model of having children within a marriage or civil partnership is also being left out. The ONS revealed that more than half, or 58.7 percent, of all pregnancies recorded in England and Wales happened outside of marriage or civil partnership. (dev/kes)