Sixty per cent of the children born in Bulgaria in 2021 were born out of wedlock, according to figures published on April 29 by the National Statistical Institute (NSI).
The NSI said that in 79.8 per cent of the extramarital births, the identity of the father was registered, meaning most probably the children were born to parents living together without being married.
The percentage of extramarital births was higher in rural areas, at 66.1 per cent, compared with 57.9 per cent in urban areas.
The percentage was highest in the districts of Vidin, 76.9 per cent, and Lovech, 76.3 per cent.
In only three out of Bulgaria’ 28 districts was the share of extramarital births less than half: Blagoevgrad (49.2 per cent), Razgrad (46.8 per cent) and Kurdzhali (39.4 per cent).
The NSI said that 59 069 children were born in Bulgaria in 2021, of which 58 678 – 99.3 per cent – were live born. The number of live births was down by 408, about 0.7 per cent, compared with 2020.
The number of children born to mothers aged below 18 years rose from 2897 in 2020 to 3015 in 2021.
The number of children born to mothers aged 40 or over decreased from 2320 in 2020 to 2278 in 2021.
The mean age of women at first birth was 27.5 in 2021, unchanged compared with 2020. The mean age of women at first birth varied from 22.6 in the Sliven district to 30.5 in the district of Sofia city.
In Bulgaria, the crude birth rate – meaning the number of live born children per 1000 persons of the average annual population during the year – was highest in the districts of Sliven 11.9‰, Sofia city 10.0‰ and Plovdiv 9.3‰.
Bulgaria’s crude birth rate in 2021 was 8.5‰, unchanged compared with 2020. The crude birth rate in 2020 for the EU-27 was 9.1‰, according to Eurostat data, the NSI said.
(Photo: Ben Earwicker Garrison Photography, Boise, ID www.garrisonphoto.org)
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