Number of teenage mothers declining steadily

07/04/2016 15:00
According to Statistics Netherlands (CBS), the number of teenage mothers in the Netherlands is low compared to other countries. Last year 1,574 teenage girls gave birth, a decline relative to 2014. Although teenage maternity rates are still marginally higher among girls with an Antillean and Surinamese background, the rates in the Turkish and Moroccan communities in the Netherlands are nowadays about the same as in the native Dutch population.

Last year 3.2 in every 1 thousand girls under 20 gave birth, versus 3.7 in 2014. The number of teen mums has fallen continually over the past years. Since 2011 fewer than 5 in every 1 thousand girls aged between 15 and 20 have become mothers each year. In the 1960s more than 20 in every 1 thousand girls in this age group gave birth.

Nearly 80 percent of teen mums in 2015 were eighteen or nineteen and 8 percent were younger than sixteen. In recent years, the number of teen mums has declined across all age groups.

Teen mums by age
 

Few teenage mothers with Moroccan or Turkish background


Just under half of teenage mothers in 2015 had a non-native Dutch background; nearly 15 percent had western and more than 30 percent had non-western roots. The number of teen mums per 1 thousand girls in all these ethnic groups diminished, especially among Turkish and Moroccan girls; the last few years the share has been similar to that recorded among native Dutch girls. For Turkish girls the rate dropped from 11 per 1 thousand in 2005 to 1.7 in 2015 and for Moroccan girls from 9.1 to 2.3, equal to the ratio for native Dutch teenage girls.

Compared to 2005, the teenage birth rate also fell in the Antillean and Surinamese communities in the Netherlands, but the percentage is still relatively high. In 2015, the ratios per 1 thousand Antillean and Surinamese girls were 16 and 9 respectively. Teen births were also relatively common among girls of Somali (22 in every 1 thousand), Syrian (30 in every 1 thousand), Polish (18 in every 1 thousand) or Bulgarian (over 60 in every 1 thousand) descent.

Teen mums by ethnic background


Teen birth rate in the Netherlands one of the lowest in the world


The teen birth rate in the Netherlands is among the lowest in the world. On the European continent, only Switzerland and Denmark boast better results. Bulgaria and Romania have the highest ratios. In 2014 approximately 40 in every 1 thousand teenage girls became mothers in these two countries.

Teen mums, 2014