British women are having significantly more children than a decade ago, with birth rates for mothers in England and Wales up by 18 per cent, official figures show. Improvements in fertility treatments allowing people to start families later and a growing population of second generation migrants are amongst possible explanations for the rise.
More than a quarter of babies born in England and Wales are also now from mothers who arrived in Britain from other countries, according to an analysis of the latest census.
There were 724,000 births in 2011 — of which 26 per cent, 185,000, were to mothers themselves born abroad. At the last census in 2001, just 16 per cent of births were to foreign-born mothers.
Women born in Britain now give birth to more children, according to the UK’s total fertility rate (TFR), which is the average number of children a woman is expected to give birth to in her lifetime. It has risen from an average of 1.56 children to 1.84 in a decade. The picture is similar in Scotland, where the population has increased by 233,000 – five per cent – since the 2001 census. This represents the fastest growth rate between two Census years in the last century. The rising population in Scotland has also been driven by births, with 293,000 children aged under five in 2011, an increase of six per cent from 2001.
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