European women becoming mothers increasingly late in life

European women becoming mothers increasingly late in life
Credit: Yan Krukau/Pexels

Women are deciding to have children at an increasingly advanced age, according to 2021 statistics published by the European Union’s statistics agency, Eurostat, on 8 March.

Female EU citizens were on average 29.7 years old when giving birth to their first child. This figure has risen consistently since 2013 when the average age of a first-time mother was 28.8.

In Belgium, women typically have their first child at 29.5 years, but this statistic is also on the rise.

In 2022, Belgium’s statistics office Statbel calculated that the average age for mothers, including for second children, was now 31 years old, up from 29 years in 1998. In Brussels, this rises to 32 years.

Credit: Eurostat

The average age of a woman at the birth of her first child in 2021 was highest in Spain and Italy (31.6 years), followed by Luxembourg (31.3 years), and Ireland (31.2 years).

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However, the lowest ages were typically recorded in eastern EU Member States, notably Bulgaria (26.5 years).

Birth rates across the EU were down in 2021, with the average woman having 1.53 children. This statistics should be 2.1 to avoid population decreases, not accounting for immigration.

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