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Beijing Women Defer Childbearing to Age 29
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The average childbearing age of Beijing women rose to 28.83 years in 2005 from 27.24 in 2000, the Beijing Daily reported Friday.

Quoting a survey by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), the paper said most Beijing women now wait until they are 27 before they have a child. In 2000 the comparable age was 25.

Beijing fertility rates in 2005 were not very high, according to the survey. For one hundred Beijing women, there were only 68 children.

Before 1974, the fertility rate of Beijing women was around 2.6 children per woman but decreased sharply when the family-planning policy was implemented in 1973. By the mid and late 1990s, the fertility rate of Chinese women had dropped to about 1.8.

Employment pressures, delayed wedlock and longer life expectancy have all influenced women's childbearing age, especially those living in cities, experts said.

In the 1990s, a typical Chinese woman would marry at 22 but now the age has climbed to 24, said a recent report published by the China Youth and Children Research Center.

(Xinhua News Agency January 13, 2007)

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