The number of babies born to California women 35 and older has risen sharply over the past quarter century, even as overall births in the state have declined and births to younger women — age 34 and under — have plummeted.
As of July 1 2016, California’s birth rate stood at the lowest level on record, according to the state’s Department of Finance. However, the number of births to mothers age 35 and above rose 62 percent from 1990 to 2015. Mothers in that age group face an increased risk of complications, including gestational diabetes, premature birth, low birth weight and chromosomal abnormalities in their babies, including Down syndrome.
During that same 25-year period, births to mothers 34 and younger fell about 70 percent. This can be attributed to a variety of factors, including a drop in teen pregnancies, the lingering effects of the 2008 recession, an increase in college attendance and millennial women choosing not to marry, at least until they are older.