People in the North East think 28 is the optimal age to begin having children.
The survey, conducted by Voucher Cloud, revealed the regional differences as part of ongoing research into British attitudes towards starting a family and whether or not finances were a delaying factor.
Initially, all 2,318 respondents were asked whether the arrival of their child (-ren) suit their ideal plans on when they wanted to start a family to which almost one in five respondents (19 per cent) admitted, “No, my children did not suit my ideal family plans.”
All respondents were then asked what factors come into play when they were considering whether or not to start a family to which the most common responses were “being financially able to afford a child” (35 per cent), “having a stable job” (30 per cent) and “owning my home” (19 per cent).
Chris Johnson, head of operations at vouchercloud.com, said: “Many of us have an idea in mind of when we think we’d like to settle down and begin a family, but realistically it doesn’t often happen the way we expect it too.
“Sometimes unplanned pregnancies happen and they become the best thing that’s happened to you, and for others they reach the age they thought they’d like to settle down but when they reach that age they still don’t quite feel ready – or maybe the situation isn’t quite right.
“But it’s good that people are thinking financially when it comes to children; yes, in an ideal world we’d all have no debts, own our own homes and be at a good level within our careers, but as long as you’ve got a good support network around you and you want to make it work, then you’ll find a way.”
The respondents who indicated that finances were a factor in deciding when to have children were asked why it was so important that they were financially prepared.
As much as 41 per cent said they did not want to have to ask or rely on others to help purchase things they needed, while 29 per cent said “maternity & paternity pay isn’t enough to cover the bills”.
All respondents were then asked what they considered to be the optimal age to begin having children, as well as being asked to provide their region within the UK in order to determine any possible patterns.
According to the poll, 52 per cent of Britons admit that they had had their first child before what they considered to be the optimal age, while the remaining 48 per cent had theirs ‘later’.