More teenage mothers

Dutch teenage girls had a total of just over 2,300 babies in 1999. Over half of these teenage mothers were 19 at the time they gave birth. One in five was younger than 18.

At the beginning of the seventies Dutch women under 20 years of age had more than 9,000 babies a year. By the mid-nineties this had dropped to 1,900. However, since 1996 the number of teenage mothers has been rising again.

Relatively speaking, there are fewer teenage mothers today: a quarter of a century ago one in twenty-five new-born babies in the Netherlands were born to teenagers, today this figure is one in a hundred.

Live births to women under 20 years of age

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Among Turkish girls in particular the number of teenage mothers fell strongly in the mid-nineties. As Turkish women marry young compared with other immigrant groups in the Netherlands, relatively more of them have a baby before their twentieth birthday. The number of births to Moroccan teenage girls also fell in this period.

Live births per 1,000 women aged 15-19 years

Sixty per cent of teenage girls who had a baby in 1999 had an immigrant background. Nearly 40% were first generation immigrants. Significantly fewer second generation immigrant teenagers have a baby than those of the first generation. For instance, there were five times as many teenage mothers among first generation Turkish teenagers than among second generation girls. The youngest Surinamese girls are an exception, however.

Joop Garssen and Arno Sprangers