Births, deaths and population movement

The birth to death ratio allows comparison of local authorities with national level statistics, giving the rate of births to every one death. The proportion of births to deaths in Bolton has shown a consistently greater number of births than deaths apart since 2008. The trend data shows a gradual overall increase in the birth to death ratio over the period. By comparison there has been consistently more births than deaths across England as a whole, though the ratio has fallen slightly in recent years.

Mothers in Bolton and the North West are younger than what is seen nationally. The average age of a mother in Bolton is 29.5, with mothers in the North West being 30.2, slightly younger than England (30.6). The average age of mothers in Bolton has been increasing gradually, although this is in line with the national and regional trend.

Number of live births and total fertility rate for Bolton, North West region and England

  Bolton North West England
Year Live births Total fertility rate (TFR) Live births Total fertility rate (TFR) Live births Total fertility rate (TFR)
2013 3,812 2.09 86,372 1.88 664,517 1.85
2014 3,758 2.07 85,609 1.86 661,499 1.83
2015 3,788 2.07 85,838 1.86 664,399 1.82
2016 3,816 2.10 86,069 1.85 663,157 1.81
2017 3,703 2.05 83,882 1.79 646,794 1.76
2018 3,607 2.00 81,195 1.73 625,651 1.70

In 2018, there were 3,607 live births in Bolton. Bolton’s total fertility rate (2.0) is the second highest in Greater Manchester, meaning maternity and health visiting services are under ongoing demand. Over the past 10 years, births in Bolton have remained relatively stable aside from a “mini baby boom” in 2012 where live births reached 3,975.

Bolton’s previously high birth rate has contributed to an increased number of young people, which is projected to affect the numbers of young people in secondary school). As the number of births are gradually reducing, this demand is likely to also reduce in the future.

The chart above illustrates the projected number of births in Bolton between 2017 and 2037. This demonstrates the increase in births post-2030 that is predicted to occur as a result of the high number of children born over the last decade becoming young adults and having children themselves.

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