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August 12th, 2009
Statistics Prove American Women are Delaying Motherhood

The National Center for Health Statistics released a report that details, in the United States, the average age of motherhood has risen from 21.4 years in 1970 to 25 in 2006.

T.J. Matthews, a demographer for the NCHS authored the study and states “In 1970, just one percent or one in 100, [of] births were to women 35 and over … in 2006, it was one in 12 births. It’s a dramatic transition.”

Despite the increase of age, the United States continues to maintain the youngest age of first-time mothers in the developed countries studied. For example, Britain and Switzerland had an average age of 30 years of age.

Although there has been an uprise in the age of first-time mothers, teen birth rates continue to maintain the U.S. figures down. The most profound increases in age were documented in DC, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The lowest increases occurred in New Mexico, Mississippi and Oklahoma.

Racially/ethnically speaking, Asian and Pacific Islander women currently maintain the highest average age at 28.5, while American Indian / Alaska Native women are among the youngest at 21.9 years.


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