Nearly half of 30-year-old women were childless on their 30th birthday last year, Government data has revealed.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) analysed child-bearing for women born in different years across England and Wales. Researchers found that 49 per cent of women born in 1989 – the most recent cohort to reach 30 years old – remained childless by their 30th birthday in 2019.
That number compared with 38 per cent of their mothers' generation and just over one-fifth of their grandmothers' generation, the 1961 and 1934 cohorts respectively.
Amanda Sharfman, of the Centre for Ageing and Demography at the ONS, said: "Average completed family size has been falling since the cohort of women born in 1935 and has been below two children since the late 1950s cohorts. Following a low of 1.89 children for women born in the previous two years' cohorts, we see a slight rise to 1.92 for women born in 1974.
"We continue to see a delay in child-bearing, with nearly half of women born in 1989 remaining childless by their 30th birthday compared to one in five in their grandmothers' generation.
"The fertility patterns of women born more recently indicate that this trend is likely to continue, with women born in 1995 showing lower levels of fertility in their 20s compared with previous cohorts."
Last month, ONS data revealed that the average age at which mothers give birth has hit a record high. Figures detailing birth and parental characteristics showed that the average age of a mother rose to 30.7 years in 2019.