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North-South baby divide

A disparity in the age that women give birth has been discovered between the north and south.
Women in the south of England give birth to children an average of ten years later than their counterparts in the north, according to new research.

Northern women are most likely to be in their twenties when they have their first child, with the peak childbearing years being between 25 and 29.

However women in the more prosperous south are likely to be in their 30s, with 30 to 34 being the prime time for childbirth.

The figures from the Office for National Statistics reveal that, in southern university towns such as Cambridge and the north London borough of Islington, low numbers of women have a child before the age of 30.

This is thought to be because they are intent on pursuing their ambitions and climbing the career ladder before they start a family.

Other factors included the cost of childcare, which is more expensive in the south, and longer working hours.

Report author Julie Jefferies told the Mirror: "Back in 1986, the most fertile age group in all regions was 25 to 29.

"But by 2006, we found the peak age was 30-34 for the East and all the southern regions of England, giving an older pattern of fertility in the South than the North."

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