Fertility rate rises in Northumberland
This gave a total fertility rate of 1.59 children per woman last year, up from 1.48 in 2020 and above the 1.54 rate in 2019.
The total fertility rate is the average number of children a woman would have if she experienced that year’s fertility rate during her childbearing years.
There were 624,828 live births registered in England and Wales in 2021, up 1.8 per cent from 2020, but below the number registered in 2019.
Likewise, the fertility rate increased from 1.58 to 1.61 year-on-year – the first time it has risen since 2012 – but remained below the rate of 1.65 observed before the Covid-19 pandemic.
Katherine O’Brien, associate director of communications and campaigns at the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, said: “At the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 many women may have delayed trying to conceive, leading to the slight increase in live births in 2021.
“There is no ‘right’ number of births, but it is important that as a society we provide the support and healthcare services that enable women and their partners to have children at the time that is right for them.”
The ONS figures show a fall in fertility rates among younger women, but a rise in older groups.
The largest decrease was among women and girls under 20 years old (16 per cent), while women aged 35 to 39 saw fertility rates increase by five per cent.