Last data from Eurostat
In 2020, 4.07 million babies were born in the EU, continuing a downward trend which began in 2008 when 4.68 million children were born in the EU.
The total fertility rate stood at 1.50 live births per woman in the EU in 2020, a small decrease from the recent peak in 2016 (1.57) but still an increase compared with 2001 (1.43). The highest total fertility rate since the start of the comparable time series was 1.57 in 2008, 2010 and 2016. In the years between, it fluctuated between 1.51 and 1.57.
This information comes from data on fertility published by Eurostat today. The article presents a handful of findings from the more detailed Statistics Explained article.
Fertility rate highest in France
In 2020, the EU Member State with the highest total fertility rate was France (1.83 live births per woman), followed by Romania (1.80), Czechia (1.71) and Denmark (1.68).
In contrast, the lowest fertility rates were observed in Malta (1.13 births per woman), Spain (1.19) and Italy (1.24).
Share of births by foreign-born mothers increasing
The share of children born to foreign-born mothers – both from other EU Member States and from non-EU countries – has been growing in the EU since 2013 (from when comparable data are available). In 2020, the share was 21%.
The share of children born to foreign-born mothers differs significantly between Member States: in 2020, 64% of the children born in Luxembourg were to foreign-born mothers, while in Cyprus the share was 39%. In Austria, Malta and Belgium, the share was around one third.
At the other end of the scale, nine countries had less than 10% of children born to foreign-born mothers, with the lowest shares recorded in Bulgaria, Slovakia (both 2%) and Lithuania (3%).
For more information:
• Statistics Explained article on fertility statistics
• Dedicated section to demography, population stock and balance
• Database on demography, population stock and balance
• EU: break in time series in 2010–2012, 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2019