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Release: Further Parental Characteristics, England and Wales, 2012

Released: 05 December 2013 Next edition: 04 December 2014


Elizabeth McLaren

Vital Statistics Outputs Branch

Telephone: +44 (0)1329 444110

Categories: Births and Fertility, Live Births and Stillbirths, Live Births, Population

Frequency of release: Annually

Language: English

Geographical coverage: England and Wales

Geographical breakdown: Country

  • The standardised mean age of all fathers at the birth of their child has increased by nearly two years over the last two decades from 30.9 years in 1992 to 32.7 in 2012. The standardised mean age of mother increased by a similar amount over the same period, from 27.9 in 1992 to 29.8 in 2012.

  • For men, the 30–34 age group had the highest fertility rate in 2012, the same age group that had the highest fertility rate for women. Previously, men in their mid-to-late twenties had the highest fertility rate but were overtaken in 1993 by men in their early thirties. The same trend occurred among women a decade later, with the fertility of women in their early thirties overtaking that of women in their mid-to-late twenties in 2004.

  • Nearly two-thirds (62%) of babies born within marriage in 2012 had fathers aged 30-39. In contrast only 36% of babies born outside of marriage/civil partnership had fathers aged 30-39.

  • In 2012, 3.7% of babies born outside of marriage/civil partnership had fathers aged under 20, a small decrease compared with 4.0% in 2011.

  • In 2012, households employed in intermediate and routine occupations had a mean age of mother under 30 years while households employed in higher managerial, administrative and professional occupations had a mean age of mother over 30 years.

In this release

Presents data on live birth registrations in England and Wales by parental characteristics. This package contains age-specific fertility rates for men, the mean age of father, paternities within/outside marriage and National Statistics Socio-economic Classification (NS-SEC) of household as defined by occupation. See Characteristics of Mother 1 and 2 for birth statistics by age of mother, type of registration (within marriage, joint, sole) and number of previous liveborn children.

Before 2009, tables were published as part of annual publication Birth statistics, England and Wales (Series FM1). The data years available include 1998 - 2008.

For information on data quality, legislation and procedures relating to birth statistics, please see Births metadata (332.6 Kb Pdf)  and Quality and Methodology Information for Birth Statistics (257.9 Kb Pdf) .

There is an interactive mapping tool which enables trends in fertility to be analysed at the local level. Fertility rates for 2002-2010 in this tool need to be recalculated using revised population estimates which take account of the 2011 Census. The tool will be updated in winter 2013/14, rates for the latest data years will also be added.

The Vital Statistics: Population and Health Reference Tables provide quarterly and annual births data for the United Kingdom and its constituent countries.

For data for other UK countries please see the latest birth statistics for Northern Ireland and the latest birth statistics for Scotland.

We welcome feedback on the content, format and relevance of this release.

The United Kingdom Statistics Authority has designated these statistics as National Statistics, in accordance with the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 and signifying compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

Designation can be broadly interpreted to mean that the statistics:

  • meet identified user needs;
  • are well explained and readily accessible;
  • are produced according to sound methods; and
  • are managed impartially and objectively in the public interest.

Once statistics have been designated as National Statistics it is a statutory requirement that the Code of Practice shall continue to be observed.

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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