An article presented and analysed womens childbearing intentions (from data collected in the General Household Survey). Data from the 21 surveys from 1979 to 2001 showed that over that period there had been a fall in womens intended numbers of births. However, the latest data (from the 1998, 2000 and 2001 surveys) showed that the average number of children intended was still around two, somewhat higher than the average number of children current fertility rates suggested women would have.
Source: Steve Smallwood and Julie Jefferies, 'Family building intentions in England and Wales: trends, outcomes and interpretations', Population Trends 112, Summer 2003, Office for National Statistics, TSO (0870 600 5522)
There were 596,122 live births in England and Wales in 2002 - an increase of 0.25 per cent on 2001, when there were 594,634. This was the first increase since 1996. Apart from 2001, the annual total was still the lowest since 1977.
Source: Press release 13.4.03, Office for National Statistics (0845 601 3034)
Links: Press release (pdf)
An article examined the association between higher educational qualifications (any post-secondary school qualifications) and later entry to motherhood. The proportion of first-time mothers with a higher qualification was found to be much higher at later ages. For women either with or without higher qualifications, later age entry to motherhood was associated with the slower and later arrival of a second child.
Source: Michael Rendall and Steve Smallwood, 'Higher qualifications, first-birth timing, and further childbearing in England and Wales', Population Trends 111, Spring 2003, Office for National Statistics, TSO (0870 600 5522)