More babies born in Sunderland

More babies were born in Sunderland last year, new figures show, though the birth rate remains below pre-pandemic levels.

More babies born in Sunderland.
More babies born in Sunderland.

Office for National Statistics (ONS) data shows there were 2,679 births in the area in 2021 – 56 more than the year before.

This gave a fertility rate of 1.5 children per woman – up from 1.46 in 2019 and 2020.

The total fertility rate is the average number of children a woman would have if she experienced that year’s fertility rate during her childbearing years.

The data shows there were 624,828 births registered in England and Wales in 2021 – up 1.8% from 2020, but also below the number registered in 2019.

Katherine O’Brien, associate director of communications and campaigns at The British Pregnancy Advisory Service, said: "At the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, many women may have delayed trying to conceive, leading to the slight increase in live births in 2021.

"There is no “right” number of births, but it is important that as a society we provide the support and healthcare services that enable women and their partners to have children at the time that is right for them."

The figures show a fall in fertility rates among younger women but a rise in older groups.

The largest decrease was among women and girls under the age of 20 (16%), while women aged 35 to 39 saw fertility rates increase by five per cent.

Ms O'Brien said: "There are a variety of reasons why women are choosing to postpone motherhood, from career development to the ever-increasing cost of raising a child."