Teen moms drops 13.5% in Netherlands

The number of teenagers becoming mothers in the Netherlands has been dropping for years. Last year 1,574 teenage girls had a child, 13.5 percent less than in 2014, according to figures released by Statistics Netherlands on Thursday.

Last year 3.2 per 1,000 girls under the age of 20 had a child in the Netherlands, compared to 3.7 in 2014. Nearly 80 percent of them were 18 or 19 years old and only 8 percent were under the age of 16. Slightly more than half of the new teen mothers in the country are Dutch. Nearly 15 percent are of a Western, but not Dutch, origin and just over 30 percent are of non-Western background.

The number of teenage moms decreased in all ethnic groups, but especially among Turkish and Moroccan girls. In 2005, 11 out of every thousand Turkish girls in the Netherlands had a child. last year it was 1.7 per thousand. Among Moroccan girls it dropped from 9.1 per 1,000 to 2.3 per thousand, the same proportion as among Dutch native girls.

The number of teenage mothers of Antillean and Surinamese origin also dropped, but the rate is still relatively high. Last year 16 per 1,000 Antillean teenagers became moms and 9 per 1,000 Surinamese teens.

The Netherlands' birth rate among teenagers is one of the lowest in the world. In Europe only Switzerland and Denmark have lower rates. Bulgaria and Romania have the highest number of teenage moms.