More men in their 40s become fathers

14/02/2008 15:00

In recent years, the number of men in their 40s who become fathers has continually grown. In 2006, about 24 thousand babies were born whose fathers were in their 40s, i.e. 14 percent of all babies born in 2006, as against 9 percent a decade ago.

More older fathers

The number of newborn babies whose fathers are in their 50s is also increasing. In 2006, nearly 1,800 babies were born, whose fathers were past the age of fifty, an increase by 550 relative to 1996. 

The proportion of fathers over the age of forty is growing, because first-time fathers are older. There is also an increase in men over forty with younger partners, who become fathers. Often, the man starts a new family.

There is also an increase in fathers in the 35-40 age bracket. In 2006, nearly one third of newborn babies had fathers in this age category, as against a quarter in 1996.

Fathers by age at childbirth


Fewer young fathers

Very young fathers are rare. In 2006, for example, there were only very few teenage fathers. The number of fathers in their twenties is also declining. With 3 percent, fathers under the age of 25 were also exceptional. The proportion of fathers aged between 25 and 30 dropped from 20 percent in 1996 to 16 percent in 2006.

Fathers and mothers older

Analogously, women appear to postpone motherhood. The age of fathers, however, has risen more in the early 21st century than the age of mothers. In 2006, the average age of fathers was 34.2 at childbirth; mothers were on average 31.1 years of age.

Average age father and mother at childbirth


Elma van Agtmaal-Wobma and Jan Latten