WOMEN in both Tendring and Colchester are giving birth to fewer children than a decade ago, it has been revealed.

Experts have said improves access to contraception and people delaying having children until later in life could be the reasons behind a record low fertility rate for women under the age of 30 across the country.

The fertility rate in Tendring was 1.8 births per woman last year, and 1.52 for women in Colchester according to Office for National Statistics data.

The rate is the average number of live children a mother would have while she is of childbearing age, if she experienced the fertility rate every year.

In 2009, Tendring women were giving birth to 2.05 children each on average, and Colchester women were giving birth to 1.76 children.

Nationally, fertility rates for women in age groups under 30 years are at their lowest since records began in 1938, while the rate among those aged 40 and over rose to 1.65 births per 100 women, the highest since 1948.

  • The figures also revealed a decrease in live births - a birth where a child is born alive - with 1,227 in Tendring last year, compared to 1,314 in 2018.

In Colchester there were 2,087 live births last year compared to 2,137 the previous year.

Clare Murphy, from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, said the national figures "tell a story of success" in some ways.

“The increasing age of motherhood is a reflection of improved gender parity, especially greater female participation in both higher education and the workplace," she said.

But, she added financial factors also “weigh heavily on family planning decisions”.

“The job market has never been more precarious, and we know the current crisis has hit women’s employment particularly hard," she said.

“As a result, we may well see these trends continue into the future as women and couples choose to delay having children until they are financially stable.”