21/10/2011 10:55 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Almost Half Of All Babies Are Born To Mums In Their 30s

Babies PA

Official figures for England and Wales show that almost half of all babies are now born to mums in their 30s.

Statistics for 2011 reveal the number of births to mothers in their 30s was 48 per cent, up from 46 per cent 10 years ago.

The average age for a woman to give birth is also up from 28.5 in 2000 to 29.5.

The average age at which a woman has her first baby has increased from 26.5 to 27.8, further suggesting that females are delaying motherhood in order to establish themselves in their careers, or get a foot on the property ladder.

A fifth of last year's births were to women over 35, whilst 17 girls aged 13 or younger gave birth in 2010, as did 183 14-year-olds. There has also been an increase in the number of babies born to single mums, up from 43 per cent in 2005 to 47 per cent, whilst older mums are more likely to be married, with only 30 per cent of births outside of marriage.

Speaking to the Daily Express, sociologist Patricia Morgan commented on the figures: "People are under economic pressure, they have heavy costs and debts, they delay having children and their biological clocks tick on. Those that have children late feel great while they are in their 30s and 40s but 15 years on they may not be so healthy."

What age did you have your first baby? Do you think there is an ideal age?