What’s the best time to start a family? According to The Office Of National Statistics, women are starting families far later than previous generations.
The average age a mother has a baby is now 30, compared with 29.8 years in 2012 – four years older than in the 1970s.
This is the first time that the average age has entered into the three-decade mark since records began in 1938.
Last year there were 698,512 births in England and Wales, down 4.3 per cent from 2012.
The increase in age can be accredited to women concentrating on their careers, as well as rising costs of bringing up a child.
A spokesperson for The Office for National Statistics says, 'The average age of mothers has been increasing since 1975, with increasing numbers of women delaying childbearing to later ages.
'This may be due to a number of factors such as increased participation in higher education, increased female participation in the labour force, the increasing importance of a career, the rising opportunity costs of childbearing, labour market uncertainty, housing factors and instability of partnerships.'
As a consequence, the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) decreased to 1.85 children per woman in 2013, from 1.94 in 2012. The biggest increase was in the 20-24 and under 20 category, with decreases of 13% and 8.9% respectively.
Fertility rates for women aged 30-34 and 25–29 fell by smaller amounts (4.0% and 3.4% respectively).
When did you start a family? Let us know below.