Non-western first-time mothers older

28/01/2010 15:00

In 2008, the average, first-generation, non-western woman was more than one year older when she had her first child than in 1996. The average age for native Dutch women to become first-time mothers rose by nearly six months over the same period. The average number of children in non-western families also dropped in 2008 relative to 1996, whereas native Dutch women tend to have more children.

Average age mothers at birth of their first child by ethnic background

Average age mothers at birth of their first child by ethnic background

Iranian women oldest first-time mothers

Women of non-western origin are on average younger at the birth of their first child than native Dutch women. In 2008, first generation women with a non-western background averaged 27.5 years when they had their first child, as opposed to 29.6 years for native Dutch women.

Within the largest non-western groups, Iranian women were oldest when they had their first child. In 2008, they averaged 31.3 years of age at the birth of their first child.

Average non-western mother has fewer offspring

In the period 1996-2008, the average number of children of women in the Netherlands has risen from 1.53 to 1.77. The increase is caused by the fact that native Dutch women on average have more children. At the same time, the average number of children is declining among first-generation, non-western women.

Average number of children of native Dutch and first-generation, foreign mothers by ethnic background

Average number of children of native Dutch and first-generation, foreign mothers by ethnic background

In the four largest, non-western ethnic groups in the Netherlands, the number of children declined dramatically among Turkish women. In 2008, Turkish women had on average just under two children, against 2.5 in 1996.

The number of children of women belonging to groups chiefly consisting of asylum seekers varies widely. With an average of 3.2 children, Somali women topped the list in 2008. With 1.1 children, Iranian women were at the bottom of the list. The exceptionally low number of children of Iranian women is partly due to their high average level of education. 

One in six children of non-western origin

In 2008, the number of children born in the Netherlands totalled 185 thousand, of whom 1 in 6 had a non-western background. Within this category of more than 31 thousand children, Moroccan children constituted the largest group (nearly 8 thousand).

Number of births of children with non-western background, 1996-2008

Number of births of children with non-western background, 1996-2008

Han Nicolaas and Elma Wobma