In the past 20 years, the number of births to older mothers has increased three times as compared to the last two years, as per the figures released. According to the figures for England and Wales, in 2009, about
26,976 babies were born to women aged 40 and over, as compared to 9,336 in 1989 and 14,252 in 1999.
There were about 114,288 births to mothers aged 35 to 39 in 2009. A 0.3% drop in the overall number of births was shown in the data published by the Office for National Statistics. The age for a first-time mother has gone up to 29.4 in 2009, as compared to 29.3 in 2008 and 28.4 in 1999.
The rates for women aged 20 to 24 and 25 to 29 fell by 1.6% and 1.4% respectively. But the rates continued to rise for women aged 35 to 39 and 40 to 44, by 1.2% and 2.4% respectively, in 2009.
Figures also revealed that the quantity of births to mothers born outside the UK continuously rose from 24.1% in 2008 to 24.7% in 2009.
The Deputy General Secretary of the Royal College of Midwives, Louise Silverton shared that the small drop in the birth rate was "a tiny morsel of good news".
She said, "The birth rate has gone up by 19% since 2001 yet the number of midwives has risen by only 11% over the same period. The figures also mask the fact that an increasing number of births are becoming more complicated, requiring more of midwives' time".