Relatively few teenage mothers in the Netherlands

Young people and families | 18-04-2018 13:04

In 2016, 1,492 teenage girls gave birth to a child in the Netherlands. This number was again slightly lower than one year previously. The share of Dutch teenage mothers per one thousand 15 to 19-year-old girls was the lowest of all EU countries, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports.

Most teen moms were aged 18 or 19 years in 2016; a small number (95 girls) were 16 or younger when their child was born. The number of teenage mothers has been declining for years. At the start of the century, there were as many as around 3,500, equivalent to 7-8 mothers per one thousand 15 to 19-year olds. By 2016, this was down to 3 in one thousand girls. 

Slight increase among girls with a migration background

The share of teenage girls becoming young mothers is highest among those with a non-Western background. The downward trend appears among this group as well, with the exception of girls from a background in the category “other non-Western”. This is likely related to the recent influx of asylum migrants. Last year, for example, there were 92 girls with a Syrian and 40 girls with a Somali background giving birth. This came down to 43 and 19 respectively in every one thousand girls with these migration backgrounds.

Dutch share of teen moms lowest in EU

Out of all 28 EU countries, the Netherlands had the lowest share of teenage mothers in 2015, i.e. 3.2 in one thousand girls. Switzerland, not part of the EU, had an even lower share: 2.6. There are also few very young mothers in Denmark and Sweden. The highest shares of teenage mothers can be found in Bulgaria (41.3 in one thousand girls) and Romania (36.6).