More Women Are Waiting Until They’re 35 to Have First Child, Study Says

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By Ivy Jacobson, Associate Editor, The Knot
Updated March 2, 2017
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Waiting until you’ve traveled the world (or a good chunk of it) or gotten to a certain point in your career to have a baby? You aren’t alone. A new study conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that more women over the age of 35 are giving birth for the first time.

The study’s data was gathered spanning the past four decades, and some of the findings are:

  • The first birth rate for women aged 35–39 increased from 1970 to 2006, decreased from 2006 to 2010, and increased again in both 2011 and 2012.
  • The first birth rate for women aged 40–44 was steady in the 1970s and started increasing in the 1980s. The rate more than doubled from 1990 to 2012.
  • For women aged 35–39 and 40–44 all race and Hispanic origin groups had increasing first birth rates from 1990 to 2012.
  • Since 2000, 46 states and DC had an increase in the first birth rate for women aged 35–39. For women aged 40–44, rates increased in 31 states and DC.

Lead researchers T.J. Mathews and Brady E. Hamilton also measured the rate of first births (per 1,000 women) on a state-by-state basis and found that birth rate’s didn’t change much from 2000 to 2012 in Arizona, Idaho, Mississippi, and Oklahoma.

What do you think of this study? Did you wait until you were at least 35 to have your first child?

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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