High maternal age at first and subsequent child births in Denmark in the mid-1800s—Letter to the editor

Published:September 09, 2019DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejogrb.2019.09.005
      It is often assumed that a main reason for current widespread infertility and low fertility rates in Western countries is that couples postpone family formation [
      • Schmidt L.
      • Sobotka T.
      • Bentzen J.G.
      • Andersen A.N.
      Demographic and medical consequences of the postponement of parenthood.
      ]. However, we have previously shown that more than a century ago high average maternal age was not a limiting factor for achieving total fertility rates way above replacement level [
      • Blomberg Jensen M.
      • Priskorn L.
      • Jensen T.K.
      • Juul A.
      • Skakkebaek N.E.
      Temporal trends in fertility rates: a nationwide registry based study from 1901 to 2014.
      ]. So, is the age when initiating childbearing the limiting factor? In this study we utilize unique historical data from Danish archives to assess average age at first childbirth in the mid-1800s where fertility was high.
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