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

 

Low ranking on infant deaths puts London behind other cities

hLondon has a higher infant death rate than many other wealthy international capitals, according to a study by Save the Children.

As part of a wide assessment of infant mortality the charity looked at urban areas across the globe, including 25 cities in wealthy developed countries.  London came 19th in the list of 25 that was topped by Prague.  The infant death rate in London is 4 in every 1000 live births.  In Prague, Stockholm and Oslo it is half that.

Infant mortality

Washington DC came bottom of the ranking with a death rate of 7.9 infants per thousand.  Within the US capital there is a wide discrepancy with the death rate 10 times higher in the poorest neighbourbood as the richest one.

Urban populations are growing worldwide, and while this has led to better survival rates for children under 5, according to Save the Children, there is a growing gap between urban rich and urban poor.  Survival rates for the poorest children in city slum areas are as bad or worse than those for rural areas.

State of the World’s Mothers – the Urban Disadvantage