Women are becoming mothers later in life

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Photo by Federico Mena Quintero, Flickr
MOTHERHOOD: Women are having babies later in life.

THE average age at which women in Alicante become mothers for the first time has exceeded 30 years.

According to the National Statistics Institute (INE), the average age of first-time mothers now stands at 30.04 years, the first time it has exceeded the age of 30. The figures show the changing social norms of recent decades.

Women in the province have been delaying the decision to have a child almost continuously since 1978. In that year, the average age for motherhood stood at 24.4 years and has progressively risen ever since.

The delays come as more women become academics and professionals, therefore focusing more on their careers. President of the delegation of the Association of Geographers of Spain in Valencia, Alberto Lorente, said the rise is due to the labour market which at the moment is “very demanding, and considerably more for women.” He added that the financial crisis has also played a part in the delay in motherhood with some women wanting to be more financially stable before having a child.

Lorente also points to the “loss of influence of religion” in society, which has contributed significantly and has “changed the way of thinking” of when to have children and the family concept. “The creation of a traditional nuclear family is no longer an aspiration for many people,” he said.

Despite the province breaking the 30 age barrier for the first time, the age is still  below the national average which stands at 30.55.

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