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28/9/2020  
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SOCIETY AND CONSUMER
International Day of Families

Women in the EU gave birth to their first child at almost 29 years of age on average


In 2013, a majority (51.2%) of women in the European Union (EU) gave birth to their first child when aged in their 20s, while 40.6% became mothers in their 30s. In addition, more than 127 000 births of first children in the EU in 2013 were to women aged less than 20 (teenage mothers) and around 65 500 to women aged 40 and over. On average, women in the EU were 28.7 years old when they became mothers for the first time.
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Among the 5.1 million births in the EU in 2013, nearly 1 in 5 (or more than 880 000) concerned a third or subsequent child.

On the occasion of the International Day of Families
on 15 May 2015, Eurostat, the statistical office of the
European Union, publishes a selection of demographic data related to families in the EU.


First time mothers youngest in Bulgaria and Romania, oldest in Italy and Spain

In 2013, the mean age of mothers at the birth of their first child varied significantly between the EU Member States,
with a gap of almost five years between the youngest and the oldest. The youngest average ages of mothers at the
birth of their first child were recorded in Bulgaria (25.7 years), Romania (25.8), Latvia (26.1), Estonia (26.5), Poland and Lithuania (both 26.7) and Slovakia (26.9). Conversely, women were oldest on average when giving birth to their first child in Italy (30.6 years), followed by Spain (30.4), Luxembourg (30.0) and Greece (29.9).

Around 15% of first children born to teenage mothers in Bulgaria and Romania

The highest shares of births of first children to teenage mothers were recorded in Romania (15.6% of total births of first children in 2013), Bulgaria (14.7%) and Hungary (11.0%), ahead of Slovakia (9.9%), Latvia (9.1%) and the
United Kingdom (8.2%). On the other hand, the lowest shares were observed in Italy (1.8%), Slovenia (1.9%),
the Netherlands (2.2%), Luxembourg and Cyprus (both 2.4%).

At the opposite end of the age range, the highest proportions of births of first children in 2013 to women aged 40 and over were registered in Italy (6.1% of total births of first children in 2013), Spain (5.1%), Greece (4.1%), Luxembourg (3.8%) and Ireland (3.4%). In contrast, shares of less than 1% were recorded in Poland and Slovakia (both 0.7%) and Lithuania (0.9%).

In 2013, more than half of the women giving birth for the first time were aged in their 20s in a large majority of the EU Member States. Notable exceptions were to be found in the following Member States where the majority of first births were to mothers aged in their 30s: Spain (59.4% of births of first children concerned women aged 30-39), Italy (54.1%), Ireland (52.7%) and Greece (51.9%)

1 out of 10 births in Finland was to a mother with at least three children already

At EU level in 2013, more than 80% (82.6%) of births were first and second children, while births of third children accounted for 11.8% and of fourth or subsequent children for 5.6%.

Across the EU Member States, the highest share of births ranked fourth or subsequent among total births was recorded in Finland (10.4%), followed by the United Kingdom (9.5%), Romania (9.4%) and Ireland (9.0%).

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