25 percent of women giving birth are older than 35 years

Trend towards late pregnancy: More and more mothers are older than 35 years at birth

The mothers in Germany are always older when their child is born. In 2011, around a quarter of all newborns in Germany had a mother who was over 35 years old. The Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB) reports today in Berlin. The statisticians observe that the trend is still increasing. In Eastern Germany, too, motherhood begins on average much later than was the case a few decades ago.

Birth frequency from 35 increases in East and West
Of all children born in Germany in 2011, around 25 percent had a mother who was either 35 years or older at birth. "In 1981, the comparative value was still 6 percent and has quadrupled since then," says the Federal Institute. To make it clear: At that time in the GDR, only every 50th child was affected by a mother over the age of 35.

The tendency towards late delivery is now similar in East and West Germany. However, there are still differences. Of the children born in the former GDR in 1981, only two percent had a mother who was over the age of 35. Last year this affected every fifth East German child (19 percent). In the west, the average is still significantly higher at 25 percent.

General social conditions are changing
The experts see the demographic change as the reason for the delayed pregnancy. Apprenticeships are getting longer these days, working conditions are changing and values ​​and standards are different today than they were 30 years ago. “Therefore, more and more women are waiting longer to decide to have a child. Many young people, women as well as men, also want to achieve other private goals and therefore realize their desire to have children relatively late, ”reports Jasmin Passet from BiB. This also has consequences for the development of the population. "A late first birth shortens the period of childbearing ability and thus reduces the average number of children." Today women want to be just as successful as men. Therefore, the average age of the mother is much higher today than it was 40 years ago.

Mothers are always older at first birth
In 2010, Germany had the highest birth rate in the 30- to 34-year-old age group. In second place were the 25 to 29 year olds. If most children were born in the 70s in the mother age between 20 and 24 years, this age group was replaced in 2002 by the 30 to 34 year olds. According to a further evaluation by the health insurance companies, the birth rate of 40- to 44-year-olds rose by almost 50 percent in 2011. (sb)

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