One in six first-time fathers over 40

27/09/2011 15:00

The number of fathers over the age of 40 at childbirth is growing. One in six had passed the age of 40 last year. In recent years, the average age of first-time fathers was 32.4 years. First-time mothers are on average 3 years younger. Dutch parents are generally a bit older than parents in other European countries.

Newborn babies by age of the father

Newborn babies by age of the father

Six in ten fathers in their thirties in 2010

Over 184 thousand children were born in the Netherlands in 2010. More than 60 percent of the fathers were in their thirties, as against 66 percent in 1996. In the over-30 age category, the share of fathers beyond the age of 35 has also increased in recent years.

A growing number of fathers are in their forties. Last year, one in seven fathers were in the 40–50 age bracket at childbirth versus one in eleven in 1996. The proportion of fathers older than 50 years varies around 1 percent.
 
The number of teenage fathers increased by an estimated 650 last year. The number of teenage mums is approximately five times as high.

Average age parents at birth of their (first) child

Average age parents at birth of their (first) child

Average age first-time fathers 32.4 years

The age of first-time fathers averaged 32.4 years in 2010, i.e. 3 years younger than the average first-time mother. The average age of all fathers at childbirth was 34.0 years, also 3 years older than the average mother. 

Dutch parents were on average one year older at childbirth in 2010 than in 1996. Over the past seven years, the average age of parents at childbirth has hardly risen.

Average age parents at childbirth in various European countries, 2010

Average age parents at childbirth in various European countries, 2010

Dutch parents relatively old

The average age of Dutch fathers is just above the average in several other European countries. The average age difference between fathers and mothers in other countries is also approximately 3 years. Icelandic and English fathers are on average 32.5 years at childbirth; Norwegian fathers are 33.4 years old.

Elma Wobma and Mila van Huis