Statistics prove Wandsworth Nappy Valley has highest birth rate

Wandsworth lived up to its nickname of Nappy Valley this week as figures reveal the borough’s birth rate has risen by almost a third, according to new population figures.

In 2000 the number of babies born in the borough was 3,948 but just eight years later, by 2008, this figure had soared to 5,246.

The figures, compiled by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), also show the increase over the period 2007 to 2008 was the highest for any London borough at 310 births.

Increased numbers of young mums with prams in parts of Balham and Clapham in recent years has led to the borough being tagged with the cheeky moniker.

Wandsworth had the second highest amount of births in 2008 - the most was in Newham where 5,963 babies were born.

A spokesman for the Wandsworth Council said this increase was down to the rise in the number of young people either moving to the borough or starting families here.

He also added that young families are more likely to have babies and this is why the number of births has risen.

Wandsworth’s population is currently estimated at 281,800 with more than 40 per cent of the population aged between 25 and 39 – the highest proportion in the country for this age group.

To counter the rise in birth rates local authorities will have to increase the number of school classes in the next few years.

According to the report, there will need to be an extra 30 reception classes in Wandsworth by 2013 to cater for the number of children, born in 2008, who will be of school age by that time.

The report states: “Wandsworth will need to provide approximately 20 per cent more reception class places by January 2013.

"The only factor countering this rise in required provision is that in recent years about 15 per cent of children born in London have tended to move out of London by the time of starting school.”

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