The fertility rate dropped to 1.58 births per woman in 2020, 4.2 per cent down on 2019, and 3.1 per cent less than the previous low in 2001.
It has been falling since 2012 and has been below the long term “replacement level” at which births and deaths are in balance since 1973. Records began in 1938. London had some of the highest and lowest fertility rates in the country, with 2.16 in Barking & Dagenham, but only 0.96 in Camden.
The number of live births fell 4.1 per cent to 613,936. Since the most recent peak in 2012, the number of live births has dropped by 15.9 per cent.
The average age of childbirth was unchanged at 30.7 years, the data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed. They also revealed the fertility rate for over 40s fell from 16.5 to 16 live births per 1,000 women.
The proportion of live births to women born outside the UK rose to 29.3 per cent, the highest since records began in 1969.