The average age of new moms having their first baby has risen nearly one and a half years to 26.3, a new study reported, attributing the increase at least in part to the decrease in teen pregnancies.
The Thursday report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
highlighted both a decrease in births before age 20 and an increase in the percentage of women who are giving birth for the first time after turning 30 years old.
"The mean age of mothers has increased from 2000 to 2014 for all birth orders," the report said, but it was those first-time mothers who had the largest increase. In 2000, first-time mothers, on average, aged 24.9 years.
The CDC said that a mother's age is significant knowledge for researchers because older mothers may have fewer pregnancies over their lifetimes, which can impact population studies and other issues.
"The largest factor in the rise in mean age at first birth is the decline in the proportion of first births to mothers under age 20, down 42 percent from 2000 to 2014, or from approximately 1 in 4 births to 1 in 7," the CDC said.
Bill Albert, of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, told NPR
the decrease in teen pregnancies was "one of the nation's great unheralded success stories of the past two decades."
The CDC study also found:
• "From 2000 to 2014, the proportion of first births to women aged 30–34 rose 28 percent, from 16.5 percent to 21.1 percent, and first births to women aged 35 and over rose 23 percent, from 7.4 percent to 9.1 percent.
• "The proportion of first births to mothers aged 20–24 was the same in 2000 and 2014, while the proportion of first births to mothers aged 25–29 increased 14 percent, from 24.3 percent in 2000 to 27.7 percent in 2014.
• "As a result of the different rate of increases by birth order, the gap in the mean age between sequential birth orders has decreased. For example, the difference in the mean age at first birth compared with the mean age at second birth was 2.8 years in 2000 and 2.4 years in 2014."
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