Oh wow does that vary. Baby Buzz spent a week analyzing the different ages to get pregnant a few weeks ago, I'd check it out!
More than the number, I think the best time to have a kid is when you can provide them with the best possible opportunities from a stable, loving environment. Get in a good relationship (while marriage isn't a requirement, it's easier to keep Daddy involved and legally responsible if you're married!), find a safe home, and put aside some money for emergencies (bed rest, extra medical care, whatever). It'd be ideal for both parents to be employed before you start trying, a)so you're less stressed, and b)so you have insurance in place.
I don't think anyone should plan to have a family while receiving government assistance. If you end up needing help when things go wrong later...well, that's what it's there for. I think a lot of people abuse that.
at 9:40 PM on Jan. 2, 2009