More women choose to be mothers

07/07/2011 15:00

In the past three years, the number of young families in the Netherlands has increased. The number of first-time mothers has risen from 82 thousand in 2008 to nearly 86 thousand in 2010. Women in their twenties no longer postpone motherhood and it is more common for women in their thirties and forties to start a family.

Fewer women, more first children

Last year, 184 thousand children were born, i.e. as many as in 2008 and 2009, but the number of first children has risen over the past three years from 82 thousand in 2008 to nearly 86 thousand in 2010. This means that more women have become mothers in the past three years.

The number of 20 to 40-year-old women has declined by nearly 3 percent in the past three years. At the same time, the number of first-time mothers in this age category has increased by 4 percent. The increase can be attributed to the fact that women in their twenties no longer postpone motherhood and more women in their thirties and forties nowadays choose to have children.

Number of first children

Number of first children

Average age of first-time mothers has been stable in the past seven years

The average age for women to become mothers for the first time has risen considerably over the past decades from 25.6 in 1980 to 29.4 in 2004. Surprisingly, the average age of first-time mothers has not increased further in the past seven years.

Average age first-time mothers

Average age first-time mothers

Increasing number of unmarried parents

Last year, 43 thousand first children, i.e. half of all first children were born out of wedlock versus 16 percent in 1990.

The increase in the number of first children born to unmarried mothers started in the 1980s. Prior to 1980, fewer than 5 percent of first children were born out of wedlock.

Number of first children born to married and unmarried women

Number of first children born to married and unmarried women

Arie de Graaf