More mums in their early 40s than early 20s in city’s wealthiest areas

Pregnant at work g-stockstudio-2

Photo: g-stockstudio ┃Shuttertock.com

Women giving birth in their early 40s outnumber women giving birth in their early 20s in 8 of London’s most affluent boroughs. In Kensington and Chelsea the ratio is 2:1 in favour of the older mums.

The figures in the latest births data from the Office for National Statistics underlines the long-running trend towards women having children when they are older. Nationally the number of mums in the 35-39 age group exceeded those aged 20-24 for the first time last year, according to the data just released.

But in London that trend is more developed and the numbers of women in their 40s giving birth is growing. Across England and Wales just under half of all births are to women in their 20s. In London it is 38% as more women wait before having children.

London v national birth ages

London mums have an older age profile. The data show that 18% of all the children born in the England and Wales in 2014 were born in London. But only 9% of those born to under 20s were in the capital, while it is home to a quarter of mothers over 35 and more than a third of those over 45.

Across England and Wales as a whole the picture is different and the number of mothers in their early 20s outnumbers those in their 40s by 4:1.  This is the case in some London boroughs too, such as Newham and Barking and Dagenham. But in Richmond, and Kensington and Chelsea the 40-44s have outnumbered the 20-24s for some years and this trend is now emerging in more boroughs, including Camden, City of London, Hammersmith and Fulham, Kingston, Wandsworth and Westminster.

20s v 40s

The affluent nature of these boroughs suggests that professional women trying to balance career with the timing of children may be a key driver of this trend.

Source data

See also

Baby booming Wandsworth is the city’s kiddie capital

Over 50% of London babies have mothers born outside the UK

Fewer babies born last year but birth rates vary across city

 

Fewer babies born last year but birth rates vary across city

Baby handThe number of children born in London fell marginally last year to 127,399, a reduction of 0.7% on 2013.

Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that the birth rate has fallen for a second year. The ONS uses a measure called GRF (general rate of fertility) to measure the number of births per 1,000 women in the 15-44 age group. The rate for the whole of London is 63.3, a little above the average for England of 62.2 and the third highest in the country.

births natonally

But the overall rate hides a large variation across the city. The birth rate in the inner London boroughs is 56.5, and the differences become starker when looked at on a borough-by-borough level.

London has a central core of 4 boroughs where the birth rate is much lower. In the City of London, Camden, Westminster and Islington rates are below 50 per 1000 women. But in several outer boroughs, notably Barking & Dagenham and Newham the rate is over 75. Barking & Dagenham has the 4th highest GFR in England.

births london

The proportion of births to mothers born outside the UK went up slightly to 27% nationally in 2014. This has increased every year since 1990 and has a particular impact in London where there is a large overseas-born population.

Source data

See also

London drives UK population growth

Younger workforce makes capital’s population pensioner poor

Booming population will struggle to find a place to live