London mums forced into late motherhood, new research finds

Women in London cannot afford to have children until much later than the rest of the country because of stagnant salaries and rocketing housing prices.

B2B marketplace Expert Market has conducted new research that discovers women in London are delaying motherhood more than any other region in the UK, and that economic factors are making it virtually impossible to raise a family in the UK capital.

The research looks at average ages for becoming a parent across the UK and cross referenced it with income, house prices and career opportunities for working women to see if there was a link between the cost of living and the age at which women chose to give birth.

Expert Market finds a direct correlation between steep house prices, low incomes and delaying parenthood, with London, unsurprisingly coming out on top, and many people choosing to leave London all together in order to have children.

Age of parenthood is rising

Overall the age of mothers in the UK has risen almost 13 per cent since 1975. Women are now averaging the age of 30.3 for starting a family, and fathers 33.2.

When comparing the birth ages by region, parents were significantly older in London, with 63.27 per cent of parents aged 30+ upon having their first child. This number sits 10 per cent higher than the rest of the UK where 53.04 per cent of mothers are 30+.

These ages correlate with the house prices, with the more expensive areas having older parents, suggesting women are prolonging having children as they simply cannot afford it.

In London, the average house price has increased 122 per cent since 2004. In comparison, the average salary across the UK has increased 27.92 per cent, over the same time period, leaving a 94.08 per cent deficit. The region with the youngest mothers is the North East, where 56.22 per cent of mothers are younger than 30.

In fact, mothers in the North East, North West East Midlands, West Midlands, Yorkshire and the Humber and Wales all averaged 25-29 as the most common age to have children. This contrasts to London, the South East and the East of England, where most mothers were 30-34.

Living in London is less viable

The smallest salary increase is that for 22-29 year olds, with an increase of 23.52 per cent over 12 years. This means that for those in this age bracket, living in London, their salary would need to increase 80.4 per cent to match that of its housing counter part, further affirming why those in London are pushed out of the most common age bracket of motherhood.

This would take the average salary from £22,830 to £41,185.67, a figure completely unattainable for many startup businesses to fund.

The highest salary increase was for the 60+ age bracket, at 40.36 per cent, still nowhere near tackling the vast increase in housing costs in the capital.

On top of this, the gender pay gap by age bracket showed a huge increase at the times when women may typically be returning to work post-baby. The number leapt from an 8.56 per cent discrepancy in pay for those aged 30-39 to 20.9 per cent for 40-49 year olds and 23.52 per cent for those in the 50 – 59 age bracket, suggesting another reason why women may look to prolong motherhood, or even refrain from having children altogether.

Further reading on motherhood

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