Birth rates in Europe

The most extensive website containing various European statistics is from Eurostat. Among other things, it contains a pretty, up-to-date table on the number of live births per woman in various European countries and in all of Europe, as well as data on the woman’s average age at birth. But what is the average age of men at the birth of their child?!

Another interesting table shows the number of women per 100 men in various European countries: The only countries with fewer women than men are Turkey, Macedonia, and Iceland, but the ratio of women to men is declining in many countries throughout Europe. So maybe demographers should start to take us men more seriously: After all, we’re gaining not just in weight but also in numbers.

Every two years, the Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) publishes a giant table showing birth rates and population trends  in all European countries; the easy-to-read tables are accompanied by graphs, maps, and text.

Population Europe is a new network whose aim is to bring together European demographic research centers and to promote these centers’ research by making it available to the general public. I have yet to find anything there about family planning and conception, but perhaps with time I’ll come across something. Nevertheless, they have a link to, where I actively registered in order to get information on demographic developments since nearly the beginning of time (okay, I exaggerate). What I got, however, was a jumble of facts and figures that I couldn’t make heads or tails of. I guess it’s more a website for specialists.

The French demographic institute (INED) offers information in English as well. Here you’ll find general information, articles, and data on French, European and worldwide populations.

I’m a little unsure where to place the data on demographic developments in the post-Soviet countries offered by the excellent Demoskop website. Since most of these countries are a part of Europe, I’ll put it in this section. Demoskop is published every two weeks, and offers tons of articles and analyses. In Russian, of course....

So for now at least, official demographic websites don’t have any statistics on birth rates for men. But some articles and statistics are out there!

The article “Men’s childbearing desires and views of the male role in Europe at the dawn of the 21st century” looks at men’s plans regarding the number of children they want and their attitudes to childrearing (traditional or egalitarian). The text analyses men aged 20-44 in eight European countries: Austria, Estonia, East Germany, West Germany, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, and Poland.  

Some countries publish official statistics (or at least basic indicators of the number of births by the men’s age, fertility by age, or overall fertility. For instance, men appear in the official statistics for Denmark, Sweden, England & Wales, and France. One fresh example is the latest data appendix to the French report on population development in 2010 sheet four of the accompanying Excel file, entitled "Graphique complémentaire 3," gives the fertility rates and birth rates for men and women in 1980 and 2010. Our man Tomáš explains that the men are “in the minus” for purely technical reasons. In the table on the left, the figures had to be given with a minus symbol so that the graph on the right would show up the way it was supposed to (that’s just how Excel works). The numbers show the number of births per 10,000 women and men of each given age. As always, we should remember that a small percentage of fathers remain unknown and that a larger percentage of fathers are given erroneously (i.e., someone else is the real father).


Last edited 23.06.2011 12:06.