Fewer foreign teenage mothers

27/10/2003 10:00

For the first time in years the fertility rate among teenagers fell slightly last year. In 2002 a total 3,516 girls under the age of twenty had a baby, compared with 3,569 in 2001.

Number of live born babies with a teenage mother, by ethnic origin

Number of live born babies with a teenage mother, by ethnic origin

Fall in foreign, rise in native teenage mothers

The decrease was caused by a relatively sharp fall in the birth rate for foreign girls. Twenty-three babies were born per thousand non-western foreign girls aged 15-19 years in 2002. One year previously this was 26.

The birth rate for native Dutch girls increased further, however, although it is much lower than that for their foreign peers (just over four births per thousand 15-19 year-old girls). In 2002 1,579 Dutch teenagers had a baby, up from 1,484 the year before.

Still great differences by origin

All the main groups of origin of non-western foreign girls show lower teenage birth rates. With only very few exceptions, the decrease was for both first and second generation foreigners.

The first generation in particular contributed strongly to the relatively higher fertility rates among non-western teenagers. Their fertility rate is four times as high as that for the second generation and nine times as high as that for native Dutch girls.

Number of births per 1,000 girls aged 15-19 years, by ethnic origin, 2002

Number of births per 1,000 girls aged 15-19 years, by ethnic origin, 2002

Antillean/Surinamese teenage mothers often unmarried

The highest fertility rates are for first generation Turkish and Antillean/Aruban girls. In the second generation it is the girls with a Surinamese origin who are most likely to have a baby before their twentieth birthday.

Unlike teenage mothers with a Turkish or Moroccan background, most Antillean and Surinamese teenage mothers are unmarried when they have their babies: a quarter of Turkish and Moroccan teenage mothers are unmarried, compared with 98 and 92 percent respectively of Antillean and Surinamese teenage mothers.

Teenage motherhood by age, 2002

Teenage motherhood by age, 2002

Young Surinamese and Antillean teenage mothers

About a quarter of native Dutch teenage mothers are 17 or younger when they give birth. For Antilleans and Surinamese teenage mothers this is three in ten. Teenage mothers with a Turkish or Moroccan background are rarely so young and in this respect, too, differ from the Surinamese and Antillean peers.

Nearly eight in ten Turkish and seven in ten Moroccan teenage mothers are 19 when they give birth . For Antilleans an Surinamese teenage mothers this is less than half.

Joop Garssen