Netherlands: Non-Westerners becoming mothers later

Netherlands: Non-Westerners becoming mothers later

Non-Western 1st generation immigrant women are becoming mothers at a later age. In 2008, non-Western women were 27.5 years old on average when they had their first child. That is a year old than was the case in 1996. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) presented the data Wednesday.

The average age at which ethnic Dutch women gave birth to their first child went up by almost 6 months in the period 1996-2008 and is now 29.6. Of the biggest non-Western group, Iranian women became mothers last, with an average age of 31.3 in 2008.

The average number of children per women went up from 1.53 to 1.77 in the period 1996-2008. This increase is caused by ethnic Dutch women having more children on average. CBS demographer Jan Latten says this is due to the better economic situation of recent years.

The number of children of 1st generation non-Western women has decreased. Latten says there's a cultural reason: immigrant women adapt faster to Western culture and choose to have less children than in 1996.

(average number of children)
Last three rows: total 1st generation non-Western, ethnic Dutch, total

Of the four biggest non-Western group, the number of children dropped in particular among Turkish women. In 2008 they had less than 2 children, compared to 2.5 in 1996.

The number of children by non-Western asylum-seekers groups differ sharply. In 2008, Somali women had the highest number with 3.2 (down from almost 5 in 1996), Iranian women had the lowest with 1.1. The exceptionally low number of children is partially linked to the high educational level.

Of the 185,000 children who were born in 2008, a sixth were of non-Western origin. Of those 31,000 children, Moroccan were the biggest group with almost 8,000. The total number of non-Western children born every year has been decreasing slightly over the past few years.

Sources: Telegraaf, CBS (Dutch)

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