HC Deb 07 November 1977 vol 938 cc19-20W
Mr. Lomas

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services in view of the fact that birth rate is declining and more married women are going out to work why is it assumed that there will be an increase in the birth rate in the consultative document "The Way Forward

Mr. Moyle,

pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 26th October 1977 ; Vol. 936, c. 759], gave the following information

The increase in the birth rate and in the number of births in the 1980s shown by the latest, 1976-based, principal official projections reflects both the increasing numbers of women entering the childbearing ages, and fertility rates assumed to be above the present low level, which is believed to be affected by current economic and social conditions. The birth rate and the number of births is projected to reach a peak around 1990 when the relatively high numbers of women born in the early 1960s will between the ages 20 and 30, the ages where most child bearing occurs ; births projected to decline again in the 1990s as the number of women of childbearing ages will begin to decline.

I am sending my hon. Friend a copy of an OPCS Monitor summarising the assumptions behind the 1976-based population projections. A more detailed commentary on the projections and the assumptions behind them will be given in "Population projections, 1976-2016 ", series PP2 No. 8, forthcoming through HMSO. This booklet will also present projections based on alternative high and low assumptions to illustrate the effects of uncertainty in the assumptions about future fertility.

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