Women Waiting Longer to Start Families

Published Online: Saturday, March 1, 2003
The average age at which women have their first child has increased by 3 years in the past 30 years?from 21.4 years in 1970 to almost 25 years in 2000, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report also shows that the mean age of mothers for all births rose from 24.6 years to 27.2 years during that time period. The average age at first birth ranged greatly by state and race/ ethnicity. Mississippi had the lowest age (22.5) and Massachusetts had the highest age (27.8). American Indian women had the lowest average age at first birth (21.6 years) and Asian women had the highest age (more than 30 years). The mean age was 25.9 years for non-Hispanic white women and 22.3 years for non-Hispanic black women. Among Hispanic women, the age at first birth varied from a low of 22 years among Puerto Rican and Mexican women to a high of 27 years for Cuban women.

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