There has been a sharp rise in British women giving birth to their first child in their 30’s and 40’s.

The Office for National Statistics said
overall conceptions rose by 2.4 percent in 2004, to 826,000 with women
ages 40 to 44 having 11.3 conceptions per thousand women in 2004 — a
6-percent rise from the previous year and a 74-percent increase from
1988, the Independent reported.

report also said that more than one-fifth of pregnancies ended in
miscarriage or abortion and that pregnancies by females under the age
of 18 fell by 1.4 percent in 2004 to its lowest level since 1995.

In 2004, 55 percent of pregnancies occurred outside marriage, the report said.