The average age of women at the birth of their first child was 26.4 years in Bulgaria in 2020, making them the youngest first-time mothers in the European Union, according to figures posted on April 28 by the bloc’s statistics agency, Eurostat.
In 2020, the average age of women at the birth of their first child in the EU was 29.5 years, Eurostat said.
The highest age for first-time mothers was in Italy, 31.4 years.
Bulgaria’s fertility rate was 1.56 in 2020, just above the EU average of 1.5.
Eurostat defines the total fertility rate as the mean number of children who would be born to a woman during her lifetime, if she were to spend her childbearing years conforming to the age-specific fertility rates, that have been measured in a given year.
Eurostat said that in 2020, 4.07 million babies were born in the EU, continuing a downward trend which began in 2008 when 4.68 million children were born in the EU.
The agency said that the EU’s total fertility rate in 2020 was a small decrease from the recent peak in 2016 (1.57) but still an increase compared with 2001 (1.43).
In 2020, the EU member state with the highest total fertility rate was France (1.83 live births per woman), followed by Romania (1.80), Czech Republic (1.71) and Denmark (1.68).
The share of children born to foreign-born mothers – both from other EU member states and from non-EU countries – has been growing in the EU since 2013 (from when comparable data are available). In 2020, the share was 21 per cent, Eurostat said.
The share of children born to foreign-born mothers differs significantly between member states.
In 2020, 64 per cent of the children born in Luxembourg were to foreign-born mothers, while in Cyprus the share was 39 per cent. In Austria, Malta and Belgium, the share was around one third.
At the other end of the scale, nine countries had less than 10 per cent of children born to foreign-born mothers, with the lowest shares recorded in Bulgaria, Slovakia (both two per cent) and Lithuania (three per cent), Eurostat said.
(Photo: Niels Timmer/freeimages.com)
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