Saturday, August 22, 2015

Best Age to Have a Baby

Here's a short summary of Huffington Post's article, What's the Best Age to Have a Baby?.

  • In terms of the infant's health, the mother's best age for first-child birth is 26. In terms of the infant's mortality, the best age is 32.
  • In terms of the mother's long-term health, the best age is, on average, 31. In terms of the mother's life expectancy, it's 34 or 35.

The primary research article cited by this news report is University of Texas sociologist Dr. John Mirowsky's Parenthood and Health: The Pivotal and Optimal Age at First Birth published in 2002. One other interesting bit in the article is the "positive association between health and age at first birth that is linear for men and parabolic for women". According to the full article (see Fig. 1 on p.333 and confirm with Fig. 2 on p.337), the linearity for men simply means the older, the better. That is, the older the man is at the time his wife or sex partner gives birth to their first baby, the healthier he will be in the future. Note there's an age range for this investigation. Both figures show ages starting at 15 and ending at 45.