This year, the annual CDC birth data update again generates a post very like the one last year and several years prior. See parts 2 & 3 of this post’s title. And this year for the first time, as the title’s first part suggests, the birth rate for women aged 30-34 surpassed that for women 25-29, as a result of the ongoing rise since 2012 of births to all women 30 and over and of the ongoing fall (since 2007) in births to all women 29 and under, especially teenagers (down by halffrom 41.5 births per 1,000 women aged 15-44 in 2007 to 20.3 in 2016!).

Rates to women 35-39 began to rise in 2011, and rates to women 40 and up never fell and continue to rise. When the recession hit and birth rates to young women plummeted, it was predictable that eventually at least some of those women would start having kids–and, inevitably, they would be older at that point.  That’s the ripple effect of delay, on display in the chart below. 



About 10 years after the rates began plummeting among the young, we are now seeing a rising tide of births to the women (and men) who delayed.  Stay tuned until later in the year for a full report on how many of these women are having first births, at what ages.  The average age at first birth is rising – but the specifics are not yet out (it was 26.4 (Table I-1) in 2015, so is likely not suddenly “around 28” as suggested by Bloomberg and Slate — the 2015 average age for all births was 28.5).

This year we have Beyoncé (35) and Amal Clooney (39) as poster women: both later mothers having twins.


Related stories:  (“Women Are Changing American Birth Rates in a Totally Unprecedented Way”)

& (“For the First Time Ever, Thirty-Something Women Are Having More Babies Than Their Twenty-Something Counterparts”)

Bloomberg (“Women in 30s Now Having More Babies Than Younger Moms in U.S.”)

NB: The Bloomberg and Slate titles are misleading.  Only the birthrate for women 30-34 (102.6) has surpassed the rate for women 25-29 (101.9) (still noteworthy!).  But women 20-24 still have a higher rate (73.7 and falling) than women 35-39 (52.6 and rising), and without data on how many women there are in each age sector, you can’t tell who is having more babies accurately.


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