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Birth Rates Are At The Lowest, That Isn’t Necessarily A Bad Thing

Birth rates are at the lowest, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing

It’s recently been revealed by the Office for National Statistics that last year’s birth rates across England and Wales hit the lowest they’ve been since records began in 1938. Officially there were 657,076 live births in 2018, meaning a decrease of 3.2% by 2017 and a 9.9% decline since (as described on the ONS website) “the most recent peak” in 2012.
Plus, the total fertility rate (live births for women aged 15-44) dropped per woman from 1.76 to 1.70, signalling we’re having less kids each. Which could, of course, be a conscious choice.

Aside from heartbreaking fertility struggles which could well play a part in these numbers, there are positives to take away. Interestingly, the ONS found fertility rates decreased across all age groups, “except for women aged 40 years and over, where the rate remained at 16.1 births per 1,000 women of this age”. It’s no secret that women are now having babies later in life, a welcome move marking age being much less of a fertility barrier than ever before.

Happily too, the stillbirth rate is at a record low for the second year in a row. Teenage pregnancy rates have dropped dramatically, in fact more than halving across England and Wales over the past 20 years. And there are also other millennial matters such as climate change to consider.

As stated by Population Matters' patron Sir David Attenborough on their website: “All our environmental problems become easier to solve with fewer people, and harder - and ultimately impossible - to solve with ever more people”.

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