FAMILIES are getting bigger for the first time in a decade, official figures show.
The average number of babies per mother rose in 2021 after falling every year since 2012, the Office for National Statistics said.
England’s fertility rate hit a record low of 1.58 children per woman in 2020 – but last year it rose to 1.61.
The total number of babies born in 2021 was slightly higher than the previous year at 624,828.
Experts debate whether Covid lockdowns caused a baby boom or bust, and don’t yet know if the 2021 surge was a blip.
Some believe the woman delayed trying to conceive at the height of the pandemic.
Others suggest that working from home or taking vacations encouraged those in long-term relationships to have babies they might otherwise have been waiting to conceive.
The ONS statistics also confirm that mothers are getting older. Birth rates among women over 30 are at their highest since 2017 and among those over 35 are higher than in 2019.
But rates have reached or remained at record lows among the under-30s, as many put careers first.
And 2021 marked the first year on record that more babies were born to unmarried women than to married ones, at 51 percent.
https://www.the-sun.com/health/5964765/families-getting-bigger-reveals/ Numbers show families are getting bigger for the first time in a decade