American Mothers Among the Youngest in the World
1:45 pm, July 2nd | by Grace Rasmus
Across all developed nations in the world, women are waiting longer before having their first child. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s annual education report, American women are, on average, having their first child at age 25, as compared to 1970′s average of 23 years old.
An interesting aspect of this chart is that while women are delaying pregnancy in the United States, they are still having children earlier than women in most of the other developed countries. Out of the countries studied, the U.S. trails only Mexico, with first pregnancy average at 21.3 years, for having the youngest mothers. Britain and Germany are tied for oldest with the average new mother being 30 years old.
It’s fascinating to look at this chart in juxtaposition to Sunday’s New York Times article, “American Way of Birth, Costliest in the World.” One possible explanation given in the article for America’s exorbitant childbirth costs is that “Mothers are now older than ever before, and therefore more likely to require or request more expensive prenatal testing.” It turns out mothers are older on average elsewhere in the world, though, and other countries still manage to keep birthing costs at a more reasonable level.