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Release: Characteristics of Mother 2, England and Wales, 2011

Released: 07 March 2013 Next edition: 05 December 2013


Elizabeth McLaren

Vital Statistics Outputs Branch

Telephone: +44 (0)1329 444110

Categories: Births and Fertility, Population, Live Births and Stillbirths, Live Births

Frequency of release: Annually

Language: English

Geographical coverage: England and Wales

Geographical breakdown: Country

  • In 2011, 42% of live births within marriage/civil partnership were first births, 36% were second births and 14% were third births.

  • The median interval between women in the UK having a first and second birth was 36 months in 2011. The median interval between second and third births was slightly longer (40 months).

  • In 2011, 19% of first births within marriage/civil partnership occurred within one year of marriage.

Presents data on birth registrations in England and Wales by characteristics of the mother. This package contains live birth statistics by marital status, first live births within marriage by marriage duration, live births within marriage by age of mother and number of previous live-born children.

Before 2009, tables were published as part of annual publication Birth statistics, England and Wales (Series FM1). The data years available include 1998 - 2008. There is a lookup table (44.1 Kb Pdf) to show how the current birth tables relate to former Series FM1 tables.

During May 2012 changes were made to the Population Statistics Act 1938, which means that information on the number of previous children and whether previously married is now collected from all mothers at birth registration and not just from married women. This will have an impact on a number of tables and proposals for changes (66.2 Kb Pdf) to outputs for 2012 and 2013 data are available on the ONS website. Feedback from users is welcome.

For information on data quality, legislation and procedures relating to birth statistics, please see Births Metadata (412.8 Kb Pdf) and Births Quality and Methodology Information (258.6 Kb Pdf) .

There is an interactive mapping tool which enables trends in fertility to be analysed at the local level.

The Vital Statistics: Population and Health Reference Tables provide quarterly and annual births data for the United Kingdom and its constituent countries.

For data for other UK countries please see the latest birth statistics for Northern Ireland and the latest birth statistics for Scotland.

We welcome feedback on the content, format and relevance of this release.

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:

  • meet identified user needs;
  • are well explained and readily accessible;
  • are produced according to sound methods; and
  • are managed impartially and objectively in the public interest.

Once statistics have been designated as National Statistics it is a statutory requirement that the Code of Practice shall continue to be observed.

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
© Crown Copyright applies unless otherwise stated.