Women are waiting to become moms, and it's reportedly having some positive impacts.
Delay has played a role in women’s increased clout in business and society.
“They tend to use that time to invest in education and work, and as a result of staying at work, when they do start their families, they have higher education and higher wages,” said Gregory. “More and more people are deciding to go to college first, or invest in their careers first. They’ve had more experience in the world. They’re able to be advocates for their kids.”
Researchers said improved test scores among kids is another benefit.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, while births to teens and women in their twenties continued to fall in 2016, births to later moms continued to rise, and the birth rate for women age 30-34 surpassed that for women 25-29 for the first time. The average age at first birth of the American mother is now 26.6.
In 2016, one in 10 first babies was born to a mother 35 or older, while in 1970 it was one in one hundred.
“While there was some complexity, the overwhelming majority of women viewed the choice to have children after 35 as one of the most positive choices they had made in their entire lives,” said Gregory. But some, she said, would feel ready earlier, if good childcare were more affordable.