Baby boom in the Netherlands: 2021 had most births since 2011
There were more births in the Netherlands in 2021 than any other year in the past decade, according to figures from Statistics Netherlands (CBS). The country's national statistics bureau has not investigated the cause of the baby boom, but suspects that it has to do with the coronavirus measures. As a result, residents of the country spent more time at home. In addition to couples physically being near each other more often, they may also have had more frequent conversations about family planning.
Last year, almost 179,000 children were born in the Netherlands. That is an increase of about 6 percent compared to a year earlier, and the highest number of births since 2011. The increase in births could already be seen as early as February.
The rising number of births was identified in all provinces, especially in Noord-Brabant which saw a 9 percent increase compared to 2020. Friesland and Limburg also recorded increases of more than 7 percent.
More babies were born in three-fourths of Dutch municipalities in 2021 compared to a year earlier. Of the twenty largest municipalities, cities in Noord-Brabant really stand out. Breda, Tilburg, Den Bosch and Eindhoven all recorded an increase of ten percent or more.
Sociologist Tanja Traag of the CBS previously said that the statistical office expected that births would only increase in 2023 and 2024. Researchers estimated that this could pause the developing trend of women first becoming mothers as they get older. According to Traag, it seems that this development started earlier because of coronavirus. Traag notes that it has become more practical to combine work with private life now that people are working from home so often.
Noah, Lucas and Shem were the most frequent boys' names on birth announcements last year. The most popular girls' names were Julia, Mila and Emma, according to the SVB.
Reporting by ANP.