Cyprus and Greece have the third and fourth lowest fertility rates in the EU with 1.32 and 1.35 births per woman, a Eurostat report published on Tuesday revealed.
In 2017, France (1.90 births per woman) was the member state with the highest total fertility rate in the EU, followed by Sweden (1.78) and Ireland (1.77). The lowest fertility rates were observed in Malta (1.26 births per woman), Spain (1.31), Italy and Cyprus (both 1.32).
The total fertility rate in the EU stood at 1.59 births per woman in 2017, compared with 1.6 in 2016. The highest total fertility rate in recent years was in 2010 when it reached 1.62, still below the replacement level, which is considered to be 2.1 live births per woman.
In 2017, 5,075 million babies were born in the European Union (EU), compared with 5,148 million in 2016. In Cyprus 9,229 babies were born that year. Of these, 46.6 per cent were first children, 36.9 per cent second, 12.7 per cent third and 3.8 per cent fourth and subsequent. Out of the 4,254 first borns in Cyprus, 2.9 per cent were born to mothers under 20 years old, 49.9 per cent to mothers between 20 and 29 and 44.5 per cent to mothers aged 30 to 39 and 2.7 per cent to mothers 40 and over.
On average in the EU, women who gave birth to their first child in 2017 were 29.1 years old. Over five years, the mean age has gradually increased from 28.7 in 2013 to 29.1 in 2017.
Almost 5 per cent of births of first children in the EU in 2017 were to teenagers and around 3 per cent to women aged 40 and over.
The highest shares of births of a first child to teenage mothers were recorded in Romania and Bulgaria, close to 14 per cent. The lowest shares were observed in Denmark (1.5 per cent) and Italy and Slovenia (both 1.6 per cent).
In contrast, the highest proportions of births of a first child to women aged 40 and over were registered in Spain (7.4 per cent of total births of first child in 2017) and Italy (7.3 per cent), followed by Greece (5.6 per cent).