Back Teenage and older mothers in the EU


© Thanatip S./

Slightly fewer than half (47%) of women in the European Union (EU) who gave birth to their first child in 2015 were in their 20s, while 45% of first-time mothers were in their 30s. In addition, 93 000 births of first children were to teenagers (4%), so women aged less than 20, and around 87 000 (4% of first-time births) were to women aged 40 and over. On average, women in the EU were 29 years old when they became mothers for the first time.


1 in 10 first children born to teenage mothers in Romania and Bulgaria

The highest shares of births of first children to teenage mothers were recorded in Romania (with 12.3% of total births of first children in 2015) and Bulgaria (11.9%). They were followed by Hungary (9.0%), Slovakia (8.4%), Latvia (5.5%), Lithuania and the United Kingdom (both 5.4%) and Poland (4.8%). On the other hand, teenage mothers made up less than 2% of first births in Italy (1.2%), the Netherlands and Slovenia (both 1.3%), Denmark and Sweden (both 1.4%).

Proportion of teenage mothers, 2015

The source dataset can be found here.


Highest shares of first-time mothers aged 40 or over in Italy and Spain

At the opposite end of the age range, the highest proportions of births of first children in 2015 to women aged 40 and over were registered in Italy (8.0% of total births of first children in 2015) and Spain (7.4%), ahead of Greece (5.5%), Ireland (4.9%) and Luxembourg (4.5%). In contrast, less than 2% of first-time births to women aged 40 or over were recorded in Lithuania and Poland (both 1.1%), Latvia and Slovakia (both 1.5%), Romania (1.6%), Malta (1.7%) and the Czech Republic (1.8%).

In 2015, a majority of women giving birth for the first time were aged in their 20s in most Member States. Notable exceptions were to be found in the following Member States where the majority of first births were to mothers aged in their 30s: Spain (61.6% of births of first children concerned women aged 30-39), Greece (57.2%), Ireland (57.0%), Italy (56.2%), Luxembourg (54.1%) and Portugal (53.7%).