Last year 53% of the first-born children were born outside marriage

29.10.2014

Data of the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) show thatin 2013, a total of 20.6 thsd children were born in Latvia1, 9.2 thsd or 44.6% of which were extra-marital births.The majority or 53% of the first-born children were born outside marriage.

11.4 thsd or 55.4% of children were born in a registered marriage. Compared to 2012 the number of marital births over the total number of births has increased by just 0.4 percentage points. In 2013 the increased number of babies born in a registered marriage can be explained with the growth in the number of second and third children. Out of the total number of second and third children, 62.6% and 64.6%, respectively, were born to a married couple.

In 2013 a larger number of extra-marital births were registered to women under 26 years of age, when usually the first baby is born.

Number of births by marital status and age of the mother

Data source: Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia

If in 1990, 83.1% of all babies were born to a married family, in 2000 - this number accounted for 59.6%, and in 2013 - for only 55.4%. Since 1980 when 87.5% of all children were born in a registered marriage, the share of marital births has been decreasing each year. A slight growth was registered only in 2005 - 2008, when the share of marital births reached 56.8% (increase of 1.5 percentage points compared to 2005). 

Share of marital and extra-marital births (1990 - 2013)

Data source: Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia

Before 1996 there was no distinct difference between the average age of women at the first childbearing and the average age at entering marriage. Since 1997 the average age at the first childbearing has been lower than that at the first marriage.

In 2000 the average age of women at the first marriage was 24.9 years, and at the first childbearing - 24.4 years. In turn, in 2013 the average age of women at the first marriage was 28.5 years, and at the first childbearing – 26.9 years.

Average age of women at the first marriage and average age of mother at the first childbearing

(1990 - 2013)

Data source: Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia

Data of the Population Census show that a total of 587.7 thsd families were registered in Latvia in 2013, of which 232.7 thsd of 39.6% were families with underage children. Of the total number of families with underage children, 106.5 thsd or 45.8% were families of a married couple, 35.7 thsd or 15.3% - of cohabiting partners, 12.4 thsd or 5.3% - of a single father, and 78.2 thsd or 33.6% - of a single mother.

In 2011, 340.4 thsd underage children were living in families. Of them 49% lived in a family of a married couple, 31% - of a single mother, 16% - of cohabiting partners, and 4% - of a single father.

In 2013, 70.5% of children in Lithuania were born to a married couple, while in Estonia - only 41.2% (the lowest level in the European Union). In 2012 the largest share of children born in a registered marriage among the EU countries was registered in Greece, accounting for 92.4%.

Data on the key demographic indicators, number of births, deaths and natural increase are available in the CSB database.

 

More information:
Baiba Zukula
Deputy Director Social Statistics Department
Tel. 67366847


1 Hereinafter - live births