More than 4 million babies were born in the European Union each year for the past 30 years, but these numbers show a downward trend. In 2021, 4.09 million children were born. This is the second lowest figure since 1960. The lowest figure was recorded in 2020, when 4.07 million children were born. The fertility rate, which reflects the number of live births per woman, has changed significantly in European countries over the past 20 years. Between 2001 and 2021 it decreased in 11 of the 27 EU member states. Which countries have the highest and lowest fertility rates in Europe? How has fertility in Europe changed over the past two decades? How do the shares of children of foreign-born and native-born mothers vary in the EU? In 2021, France had the highest fertility rate among EU member states, with 1.84 live births per woman, according to Eurostat, the EU’s statistical office. Malta recorded the lowest rate with 1.13 live births. The average for the EU as a whole was 1.53. France is followed by Czechia (1.83), Iceland (1.82) and Romania (1.81).
While the highest fertility rate is in a (partially) Mediterranean country, live births per woman are significantly lower in other Mediterranean countries such as Malta (1.13), Spain (1.19), Italy (1.25), Cyprus (1.39) and Greece (1.43). Fertility rates were as follows in other countries: 1.72 in Denmark, 1.7 in Turkey, 1.61 in the United Kingdom, 1.58 in Germany and 1.35 in Portugal. As for the number of children born in the EU, the lowest number was recorded in 2020 with 4.07 million. Recently there has been a downward trend in the number of births in the EU, which began in 2008, when 4.68 million births were recorded.
How has the fertility rate changed? The fertility rate in the EU increased by 8% between 2001 (1.43 births per woman) and 2021 (1.53 births per woman). The largest increase was in Czechia (59%), followed by Romania (43%) and Slovakia and Slovenia (36% each). Turkey, one of the most populous countries in Europe, experienced the largest decline in fertility rates during this period. It went from 2.38 in 2001 to 1.7 in 2021, which corresponds to a 29% decrease. However, Turkey still ranks eighth out of 37 countries in the highest fertility rates. The fertility rate also decreased by 24% in Malta, 16% in Finland, 7% in Portugal and 5% in the Netherlands. The decline was smaller in Spain and France (3 percent), while in the United Kingdom it was only 1%.
In 2021, the average age of women giving birth to their first child was 29.7 in the EU. This age has steadily increased over the years: in 2013 it was 28.8 years. In 2021, the average age of women at the birth of their first child was higher in Italy and Spain, with 31.6 years in both countries. The lowest age is in Bulgaria, at 26.5 years, followed by Albania (26.6 years) and Turkey (26.7 years). These are the numbers in other countries: 31.2 years in Ireland, 31 years in Greece, 30.9 years in England and Wales, 30.1 years in Germany, and 29.1 years in France.
The shares of children of foreign-born and native-born mothers vary significantly across Europe. Children of foreign mothers range from 1% of the total in Serbia to 65% of the total in Luxembourg. This value is 20% or more in half of the countries considered. In 2021, the proportion of children of foreign-born mothers was 29% in Germany, the United Kingdom and Sweden, and 23% in France. Besides Serbia, the low shares of children of foreign-born mothers (3% or less) were also recorded in Poland, Turkey, Lithuania, Slovakia and Bulgaria. The proportion of children of foreign-born mothers increased in most EU countries between 2013 and 2021. Malta recorded the highest increase of 22 percent, followed by Greece (6%) and Spain, Portugal and Romania (5% each).
Europe is aging, institutions and countries (except Hungary and Poland) are disinterested in the dramatic population decline we are experiencing, and some governments, especially socialists, prefer demographic colonization from foreign countries rather than investing in family policies for their own citizens. We are living in an age of total madness…
Discussion about this post