More women giving birth after 40, study says

The number of women in California who give birth in their early 40s has gone up and the percentage of teenagers becoming mothers has gone down, according to a study released today by the Public Policy Institute of California.

In 2006, California saw the least number of teenage births in the state’s history, said Hans Johnson, the report’s author and the organization’s associate director of research.

“Given the social, economic and health problems historically associated with teen childbearing, this trend is very good news,” Johnson said in a statement.

From 1982 to 2005, birth rates among U.S.-born women between the ages of 40 and 44 tripled, from 3.5 to 10.5 births per 1,000 women, the study revealed.

White and Asian women are more likely to wait until they turn 40 to give birth, according to the study.

Though the number of California women waiting until they are in their 40s to give birth is rising, they still represent a small portion of all births; 95 percent of California mothers have completed childbearing by age 40, the study reported.

The study also showed birth rates for females between 15 and 19 decreased from 74 per 1,000 in 1991 to 38 per 1,000 in 2005.

The Public Policy Institute of California is a private, nonprofit organization that focuses on progressing public policy in California through independent research.

For more information, visit www.ppic.org.

— Bay City News

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