Britain's fertility rate plunges to all-time low

Britain's fertility rate plunges to all-time low

England: Women are having fewer children than ever before, official figures revealed this week.

Office for National Statistics data shows the fertility rate — the average number of children a woman has — in England and Wales slumped to 1.49 in 2022.

It marks the lowest figure since records began in 1938, laying bare the reality of the ongoing baby bust that threatens to cripple the economy.

Not a single one of the 330-plus authorities in both countries has a fertility rate that is above 'replacement level', according to analysis. 

The ONS data shows that there were 605,479 live births between the two nations in 2022 — 577,046 in England and 28,296 in Wales.

This marked the lowest number since 2002 and was 20,000 fewer than 2021.

Meanwhile the fertility rate — which reflects another measure of births — dropped from 1.55 in 2021.

It means rates have almost halved since peaking at just shy of 3 in the mid-60s baby boom.

The ONS said fertility rates decreased overall and in each age group, except for women under 20.

The falling fertility rate has been in freefall for a decade, apart from a blip during 2021 put down to a mini baby 'bounce' by couples who put their family plans on hold at the start of the Covid plandemic.

The UK's fragile economy and cost-of-living crisis is also putting people off having children, some believe, evidenced by abortion rates simultaneously spiking.

For a population to stay the same size, countries must achieve a 'replacement' level fertility rate of 2.1.

The UK hasn't had an average fertility rate above 2.1 since the early 70s.

Not one single authority in England or Wales has a rate above 2.

The highest is Barking and Dagenham, a heavily ethnic area, at 1.98.

Fertility replacement doesn't account for the impact of migration, meaning overall population levels can still increase in a country despite a drop in fertility rates. But of course, the replacement plan is just another conspiracy theory!