Number of teenage mothers unprecedentedly low

15/10/2013 15:00

Last year, 2.2 thousand girls under the age of 20 gave birth, i.e. less than 1.5 percent of all births registered in the Netherlands. The number of teenage births has never been this low. Teenage births still frequently occur among Antillean and Surinamese girls.

Lowest number ever

Since 2011, fewer than 5 per thousand 15 to 19-year-old girls give birth. With 4.5 thousand, last year’s teenage birth rate was the lowest ever recorded by Statistics Netherlands. Around 1970, the teenage birth rate was still nearly five times as high.

Number of live births

Number of live births

Number of teenage mothers still high among Antillean and Surinamese girls

Birth rates are still high among girls with an Antillean or Surinamese background. Last year, for example, 27 thousand first-generation Antillean teenage girls gave birth versus 21 thousand first-generation Surinamese teenage girls, i.e. four to five times the nationwide average. The second generation (born in the Netherlands) have lower rates, although they are still relatively high.
Proportionally, birth rates among teens with a non-western background have been reduced more rapidly since the turn of the century than among native Dutch girls. In 2012, the birth rate among second-generation Turkish girls (2.3) was even lower than among native Dutch girls (3.5). Currently, the birth rate among second-generation Moroccan girls is also extremely low.

Number of live births by ethnic background, 2012

Number of live births by ethnic background, 2012

One of the lowest birth rates in the world

The birth rate among teenagers in the Netherlands is one of the lowest in the world. In Europe, only Switzerland and Denmark have lower rates. The low rate is predominantly due to pregnancy prevention. Abortion rates in Switzerland and the Netherlands are relatively low. In Denmark, abortions among teenage girls are much more frequent. The highest birth rates are found in Bulgaria and Romania and in the United Kingdom.

Number of births in European countries, 2011

Number of births in European countries, 2011

Joop Garssen and Carel Harmsen