The birth rate in England and Wales has fallen to a record low, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
There were 657,076 live births in 2018, a decrease of 3.2 per cent on the previous year and down 9.9 per cent since 2012.
The birth rate now stands at 11.1 live births per 1,000 people – the lowest since records began in 1938.
The fertility rate has not been above two children per woman since the 1970s.
The ONS said a six-year trend of a falling fertility rate was mainly responsible for the drop in birth figures, but an aging population could also have played a role. It did not investigate the social reasons people may be having fewer children.
Fertility rates were highest in the east of England with 1.81 children per woman, while the north-east had the lowest rate of 1.58.
The fertility rate is the average number of children a woman has, while the birth rate is the number of live births per 1,000 people.
Nearly half of all births (48.4 per cent) were outside of marriage, continuing a trend that began in the 1960s.
Clea Harmer from stillbirth and neonatal death charity Sands said she was glad to see a drop in the number of stillbirths to 2,689.
However she said it was “too early” to say whether England was on track to meet the government’s commitment to halve deaths by 2025.
The figures come after Prince Harry said he plans to have no more than two children for the sake of the planet.