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Jan 14, 2016 10:08 AM EST

Average age of first-time mothers in the U.S. reach an all-time high

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A report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday reports that the average age of first time mothers in the U.S. is at an all time high, i.e. over 26, the Washington Post reports.

T.J. Mathews of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that the change has come about mainly due to a decrease in the number of teen moms. He added that first births to older women were also adding to the increasing statistics.

T.J. Mathews is the lead author of the report released on Thursday that puts the average age of first time mothers in the U.S. at 26 years, 4 months for women who had their first child in 2014.

The average age of first time mothers in the U.S. has been increasing since 1970, when the average age was around 21.  However, the steeper rise has come in the last five years.

Since 2000, the most dramatic increases were for black mothers and for moms living along the West Coast.

The experts added that the rise in the number of first time mothers could be attributed to the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court order that legalized abortion, improvements in birth control and greater opportunities for women.

"Women are staying in school longer, they're going into the workforce, they're waiting to get married, and they're waiting to have kids," said John Santelli, a Columbia University professor of population and family health.

"It's been going on in the U.S. since the 1950s," and in many other countries as well, he added.

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