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Where You Live Can Affect The Age You Have Babies

Diane Luke
Senior Editor, TipsHire
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Pictures of grey-haired mothers holding their babies by their chests became a phenomenon on a global scale. Increasingly more families decide to have children at an advanced age, and that’s because the families budgets were reduced due to the crisis, parental spending increases by the day, and parents want to have financial comfort material before giving birth to a child. Under some specific circumstances, although it sounds harsh, the children appear to be more a source of poverty and less a reason to celebrate. But how where you live can affect the age at which you have babies covers all the factors that influence the birth rate.

Statistics

A study conducted in 2012 by the statistics institutes of several European countries has shown that the average age  women have their first child has increased alarmingly in recent years. Even more disturbing is that in the year of 2011 has been recorded the lowest level of births after World War II, in several European countries.

The statistics have shown a decrease in the number of women aged between 20 and 24 years who became mothers, and an increase in women aged between 25 and 39 years. Same statistics has ranked some of the world’s countries according to the number of births per 1000 inhabitants. This is the top 3 of the countries having the lowest number of births per 1000 inhabitants.

1. Germany and Japan – 8 births per 1000 inhabitants
2. Italy, Austria, and Hungary – 9 births per 1000 inhabitants
3. Spain, Denmark, Switzerland, Romania – 11 births per 1000 inhabitants

What are the main causes for lower birth rates?

There some main factors that make women not to think about having a baby while they’re young:

  • Empowerment of women and their desire to ascend professionally on the hierarchic ladder
  • Intensified migration
  • Increasing spending for education
  • Financial condition
  • Lack of family policy

Fertility declines with age

Experts warn that as they age, women are at risk of not being able to make children or to have difficult pregnancies, or event to give birth to children with genetic problems. On the other hand, the old mothers will lack the necessary energy and patience for growing and educating their children. When teenagers, children with old mothers will be in a permanent conflict between generations. Another problem might be that children with old parents will be deprived of the protection and affection of the grandparents.

The ideal age to have a baby

Beyond the biological reference period, around 30 years of age, in which a woman can give birth to a perfectly healthy baby, we can not say that there is an ideal age that is generally valid. There are some psychological and financial aspects that differ from case to case. Nowadays, couples or even single women are willing to fulfill themselves in terms careers, to be financially stable, so, the responsibility of having a child is not on their ‘To-Do List‘.

How Where You Live Can Affect The Age At Which You Have Babies

The birth rate is a very important demographic component, which can be influenced by family education, economic factors, social factors, or by governments.

Specific factors that are influencing the birth rate are:

  • population structure by age
  • the traditional family structure
  • the standard of living
  • age at marriage
  • religious influence
  • states policy regarding birth control

Population structure by age

Birth rates are higher in countries in which the young population is the majority and lower in countries in which elderly are the majority.

Traditional family structure

In monogamous families (the most common form of marriage – one man and one woman), birth rates are increased. Families accepting polygamy (a form of marriage in which a man is married to more women -polygamy-, or a woman is married to several men -polyandry-), the birth rates are low (e.g. some African and Middle Eastern countries).

The standard of living

This is a very important factor. While it might seem logical that a higher standard of living would mean higher birth rates, the reality is mirrored. In countries with higher birth rates, the standard of living is very low, while in countries with low birth rates, the standard of living is very high. This abnormality can be easily explained. In well-developed countries with a higher standard of living, people are more educated regarding sexually transmitted diseases or infections and birth controls methods, but they also have higher expectations from their lives, such as career, power, money.

On the other hand, in countries with a lower standard of living, people tend to live a much simpler life, much more traditional. Sexual education and birth control are not the key points in these people’s lives, and low families budgets are just not enough to be invested some money in birth control methods.

Age at marriage

Statistically speaking, marriages committed when young, between 20 and 30 years, positively influence the birth rates, while marriages when above 40 years of age are negatively influencing the birth rates.

Regarding marriages there are two factors that are taken into account and which are influencing birth rates:

  • fertility
  • divorce

Religious influence

Is an important factor when opposing the reduction of the birth rate, such as in Muslim religion (Africa, Asia), and Catholics (e.g. Latin American countries).

State policy regarding birth control

Policies can be implemented to support the increasing of the birth rate (e.g. countries in the European Union) or to reduce the number of births, aiming through family planning measures to reduce or maintain the number of inhabitants (e.g. China, India, which faced with a demographic explosion, lately). There is also the political indifference regarding birth rates, so the state does not intervene (e.g. USA).

On the global level, birth rates are very different in values, ranging between the low values of 6 births per 1000 inhabitants (e.g. Monaco) and high values equal or greater than 30 births per 1000 inhabitants. Therefore, four categories of birth rates can be depicted:

  • values between 6 and 15, which are specific for most European countries, North American countries, and Eastern Asia countries
  • values between 15 and 30, which represent the normal birth rates
  • values between 30 and 50, occurring in underdeveloped countries in Africa (south of the Sahara), the Latin American countries (Haiti), some Asian countries (Laos, Nepal), and in Muslim countries (Afghanistan, Yemen)
  • values higher than 50, in African countries like Niger, or Malawi.

How where you live can affect the age you have babies because of the economical situation of the country you reside in, the social and religious views regarding the proper age for having babies, the traditions of your country, the sanitary system and the educational system development in your country, and last but not least because of your personal views regarding making a family, your expectations from your own life, your education, and your financial standards, all of which are influenced by where you live.

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