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How old are first-time mothers in Central Europe?

Budapest, Hungary – The average age of first-time mothers widely varies from one European country to the next. Where do Central European countries stand? How old are Hungarian, Slovak, Czech and Polish women at the time of their first pregnancy?

In the EU, a wide majority (92%) of first births were to women aged between 20 and 39 years old, according to Eurostat data. On average, the share of younger (below 20) and older (above 40) first-time moms remained marginal (4% of births each).

Share of first-time young mothers among highest in Hungary and Slovakia

The highest shares of young mothers in the EU were mostly found in Central and Eastern Europe, with Bulgaria (12.5% of total births of first children) and Romania (12.1%)  topping the list with the biggest proportions of first-time pregnancies for women aged below 20.

Hungary (8.5%), which has introduced a string of measures to boost its falling birth rate, completes the podium, followed by Slovakia (8.1%) and Latvia (5.1%) rounding up the top 5.

In Poland, younger moms-to-be accounted for 3.9% of first births, slightly above the EU average, while the rate stood at 3.2% in the Czech Republic, the lowest among Visegrad Group countries.

In contrast, first-time mothers aged under 20 accounted for less than 2% of births of first children in a number of countries, including Denmark, Italy, Slovenia, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Sweden.


Low share of older first-time mothers in Visegrad Group countries

Reciprocally, first births to women aged above 40 remained marginal in most Central and Eastern European countries, particularly in Lithuania (1.3%), Poland (1.4%), Slovakia (1.5%) and Latvia (1.8%).

The rate was also among the lowest in the Czech Republic (2.1%), but higher than most CEE countries in Hungary (3.5%).

At the opposite end of the scale, it was more common to become a first-time mom above the age of 40 in Southern and Western Europe, including in Italy (8.6% of first births), Greece (6.6%), Luxembourg and Ireland (both 5.9%).

Over 2 million first births in the EU

In 2017 – latest year available – a total of 2,3 million first births were registered in the EU, slightly less than the previous year.

The countries that reported the highest number of first-time pregnancies were Germany (370,000), France (328,000), the U.K. (317,000), Italy (214,000), Spain (194,000), Poland (173,000) and Romania (107,000).

First-time births in the Czech Republic (56,000), Hungary (42,000) and Slovakia (27,000) remained marginal as compared to the rest of the EU.