Last Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new data that found that the number of live births among American women over 35 has increased by 4 percent since 2015, the Washington Examiner reported.
According to the data, pregnancy among teenage girls is continuing to decline while more women are waiting until they are older to have children, increasing the risk of complications for both the mother and the baby.
In 2022, 20 percent of the 3.661 million live births in the United States were among women over 35.
Women over 35 only accounted for 18.7 percent of all live births in 2019 and only 16 percent of all live births in 2015.
More than 605,000 live births in 2022 were among women between the ages of 35 and 39, accounting for 16.5 percent. By comparison, in 2015 women ages 35 to 39 accounted for just 13.3 percent of all live births.
In the last 40 years, the birth rate among women in their late thirties has tripled while women in their early thirties have also seen higher rates of birth.
While birth rates among women in prime reproductive years (20 to 34) have not decreased significantly in the past four years, the CDC’s data confirms the belief that many women are delaying starting a family, possibly due to economic uncertainty or the need to pursue a career before having children.
For women over the age of 35, pregnancy is considered to be high risk for both mother and baby.
Babies born to mothers over 35 are at a higher risk for chromosomal abnormalities like Down syndrome. Meanwhile, older mothers are at a higher risk for developing preeclampsia and gestational diabetes during pregnancy. They are also more likely to suffer a miscarriage or stillbirth, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
In 2022, the median age for first-time mothers was 30, up from 27 in 1990, according to the Census Bureau.