Scarborough women giving birth to fewer children than a decade ago

Women in Scarborough are giving birth to fewer children than a decade ago, new figures reveal.

Tuesday, 28th July 2020, 3:00 pm
The fertility rate in Scarborough was 1.79 births per woman last year, figures show. Photo: PA Images

Improved access to contraception and people delaying having children until later in life could be behind a record low fertility rate for women under 30 across England and Wales, experts have said.

Office for National Statistics data shows the fertility rate in Scarborough was 1.79 births per woman last year.

The total fertility rate is the average number of live children a mother would have while she is of childbearing age, if she experienced the typical fertility rate every year.

In 2009, Scarborough women were giving birth to 2.05 children each on average. Rates are measured in six age groups, from under 20 up to 40 and over, although there is no localised age breakdown.

Despite a falling fertility rate in Scarborough, the figures show an increase in live births in the area, with 924 last year.

That was up from 918 in 2018, bucking the national trend. This is likely to be due to a rise in the area’s population between mid-2018 and mid-2019.

Clare Murphy, from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, said the national figures “tell a story of success” in some ways.

“The increasing age of motherhood is a reflection of improved gender parity, especially greater female participation in both higher education and the workplace,” she said.

However, she added financial factors also “weigh heavily on family planning decisions”