This graph is from Statistics Sweden, and shows the average age at which Swedes become mothers (orange line) and fathers (blue line).
I get a lot of questions about family trends in Sweden, and I’ll try to answer some of them them in this post.
In Sweden the trend is that people are putting off starting a family for longer and longer. 40 years ago the average age to start a family in Sweden was 24 for women and 26 for men. Today the average is 29 for women and 32 for men, and more and more women are over 40 when they have their first child. Both Hannes and I will be 24 when we become parents, so we’re considered to be pretty young. Last week we were to a parenthood meeting for the couples who are going to become parents in February 2013 (there were about twenty couples), and needless to say, we were the youngest couple by far.
I’m the first of all my close friends to have a baby, and I don’t have many friends of friends that are parents, either. In general, Swedes today want to get different things down before they settle down and start a family. For many people that means graduating from college, getting their career going and finding a home where they can see themselves stay for many years (many of my friends of my age, however, say that they hope to start a family at 27. I guess, we’ll have to wait and see what happens in three years!).
This seems to be a trend in Europe as a whole. UK women wait the longest; on average they become mothers at 30.