Teenage births continue to fall

26/07/2004 10:00

In 2003 a total of 3,311 children were born in the Netherlands of mothers under the age of twenty.

The corresponding number for 2002 was 3,516. Thus the decrease in teenage mothers, which began in 2002, continues.

The decrease in teenage mothers by 6 percent applied to all age categories but was most significant in the youngest age category (under 18).

Live births by age of the mother

Live births by age of the mother

Improved preventive contraception

The decrease in teenage motherhood was found among native as well as foreign girls. Last month’s reduction in the number of abortions among teenagers by 7 percent did not result in more births in this age category. This leads to the conclusion that prevention of pregnancy among young girls improved further.

More births among Antillean and Aruban girls

The birth rate of teenage mothers fell among all the main ethnic groups with the exception of Antilleans and Arubans.

The latter are also overrepresented with respect to induced abortions and have by far the highest birth rate. In the category other non-western immigrants, which is very diversified, young girls run a relatively high risk of getting pregnant.

Live births by ethnic background

Live births by ethnic background

Still considerable differences

In spite of the improved situation, non-western foreign girls still run the risk of getting pregnant at an early age. The risk in this group is five times as high as among native teenage girls. In 2003 the birth rate for first generation non-western girls (born outside the Netherlands) in the age category 15-19 was nearly nine times as high as for native girls.

The birth rate for second generation non-western foreign girls (born in the Netherlands) was still more than twice as high as for native girls.

Live births by origin and first and second generation

Live births by origin and first and second generation

Joop Garssen