More babies born in South Tyneside
More babies were born in South Tyneside last year, new figures show, though the birth rate remains below pre-pandemic levels.
Office for National Statistics (ONS) data shows there were 1,457 births in the area in 2021 – 15 more than the year before.
This gave a fertility rate of 1.57 children per woman – up from 1.56 in 2020 but below 1.58 in 2019.
The total fertility rate is the average number of children a woman would have if she experienced that year’s fertility rate during her childbearing years.
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Katherine O’Brien, associate director of communications and campaigns at The British Pregnancy Advisory Service, said: "At the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, many women may have delayed trying to conceive, leading to the slight increase in live births in 2021.
"There is no “right” number of births, but it is important that as a society we provide the support and healthcare services that enable women and their partners to have children at the time that is right for them."
The figures show a fall in fertility rates among younger women but a rise in older groups.
The largest decrease was among women and girls under the age of 20 (16%), while women aged 35 to 39 saw fertility rates increase by five per cent.
Ms O'Brien said: "There are a variety of reasons why women are choosing to postpone motherhood, from career development to the ever-increasing cost of raising a child."