Average age of motherhood raises to over 26 in US

Women are waiting longer to have children as the average age of first-time mothers climbs to over 26
By Jason Spencer | Jan 17, 2016
Women are waiting to have kids, and a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that the age of women having children has risen once again.

According to the Union-Bulletin the average age for those having their first child has risen to over 26. This can largely be attributed to teen pregnancy numbers going down, but the women's role in the workforce and their push for a better education has kept them out of the maternity ward.

"Women are staying in school longer," said John Santelli, a professor of population and family health at Columbia University. "They're going into the workforce, they're waiting to get married, and they're waiting to have kids."

Santelli noted that this trend isn't just happening stateside.

"It's been going on in theU.S. since the 1950s, and in many other countries as well," he added.

The government began recording the average age of new moms in the 1970s. Back then the average age was 21. Ever since the average age has been steadily increasing, with the biggest spike occurring during the last five years.

And while the importance of education and the importance of women in the workplace has a big impact on numbers we can't forget how easier access to birth control works into the mix. The rise in average age has risen all across the board thanks to these factors, including when it comes to race and ethnicity.

Women who have waited, like Meisha Welch, commented on how having children at an older age has gone from being an oddity to the norm.

"[Women] had children at what in the past may have seemed like an olderage," said Welch. "But now it feels moreaverage."

 

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