Last year the number of births in the Netherlands was relatively low (nearly 171 thousand), as against over 200 thousand early this century. Two factors affect the decline: there are fewer women of childbearing age and these women have fewer babies. In 2015 more than 45 babies were born to every 1,000 women, over 13 percent down from 2000.
Young women have fewer, women over 35 have more children
Young women gave birth less often, while – proportionally – women older than 35 had more children. The most substantial increase is found among 35 to 39-year-old women, from 57 children per 1,000 women in 2000 to nearly 68 in 2015.
Share children over-35 mothers back at level 1950s
More than 24 percent of all newborn babies were born to mothers over the age of 35. In the 1950s this was nearly 27 percent. In the 1980s, it was less than 6 percent and subsequently began to rise again.
Older mothers more often give birth to their first or second child
Families were larger in the 1950s and many women had their fourth or subsequent child after the age of 35. The share of first children was relatively low (6.5 percent) then. Nowadays, first-time mothers are on average older. Last year, 28.6 percent of over-35 mothers gave birth to their first child. The number of first-time mothers in the 35-39 age bracket is currently much higher than in the 1950: 19 versus 9 per 1,000 women.