Demographic Analysis Unit
Telephone: +44 (0)1329 444644
Frequency of release: Annually
Geographical coverage: England and Wales
Geographical breakdown: Country
The average completed family size for women born in 1966, and reaching age 45 in 2011, was 1.91 children per woman. This compares with their mothers’ generation, represented by women born in 1939, who had on average 2.36 children.
Two children was the most common family size for women born in both 1939 and 1966.
The level of childlessness among women born in 1966 is higher than for women born in 1939. One in five women born in 1966 remained childless, compared with about one in eight born in 1939.
One in ten women born in 1966 had four or more children, compared with nearly one in five women born in 1939.
Women born in 1981 have had slightly fewer children on average (1.01) by their 30th birthday than women born in 1966 (who had 1.17 children on average by the same age.)
The United Kingdom Statistics Authority has designated these statistics as National Statistics, in accordance with the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 and signifying compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.
Designation can be broadly interpreted to mean that the statistics:
Once statistics have been designated as National Statistics it is a statutory requirement that the Code of Practice shall continue to be observed.