Father figures: ONS releases stats ahead of fathers day

Men are continuing to have children later in life according to new figures released by the Office for National Statistics in time for Fathers Day.

Babies born in England and Wales had a father with an average age of 32.6 in 2011 with 29.7 years the average age of mothers.

Nearly 65 per cent of babies fathered by men who were aged 30 and over, compared to 49 per cent of women.

Men have children at much older ages than women.
Men have children at much older ages than women. Credit: Jens Kalaene/Press Association images

The number of fathers who are married has fallen, with men now as likely to be cohabiting with their partners.

5.9 million men were living with dependent children in the UK in 2012 with nearly eight in ten of these fathers married. This figure has fallen steadily from nearly nine in ten 15 years ago.

The number of people cohabiting has doubled to nearly six million since 1996 with a report earlier this month claiming that the instability of cohabiting couples has fuelled the disintegration of families in the UK.

Fathers are now less likely to be married, with cohabiting couples on the rise.
Fathers are now less likely to be married, with cohabiting couples on the rise. Credit: Geoff Kirby/Press Association Images

The Office For National Statistics also analysed the socio-economic class of fathers.

The largest proportion of births (27 per cent) inside marriage were to fathers employed in the lower managerial, administrative and professional occupations such as teachers and IT technicians.

Fathers employed in jobs as bus and van drivers, labourers and road sweepers made up the largest proportion of births outside marriage.

Just under a quarter of babies born in 2011 had fathers who were born outside the UK with Pakistan the most common country of birth for non-UK born fathers. Poland and India were the second and third most common countries of birth respectively.