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Women in the EU: first child at 29 years of age

May 14, 2015 | News

(14 May 2015) – In 2013, a majority (51.2%) of women in the European Union gave birth1 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. 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.

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).

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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