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29 September, 2020
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Two out of ten babies in Cyprus born outside of marriage

The island has the third lowest rate behind Greece and Croatia but it has seen a spike in births outside wedlock


Cyprus has seen a huge rise in babies born outside of wedlock since the turn of the century with an eight-fold increase from 2.3% in 2000 to 19.1%, according to Eurostat.

But it still has the third lowest rate in the EU of babies born to unmarried parents behind Greece and Croatia.

Over 5.1 million babies were born in the European Union in 2016 and in eight of the 28 Member States, the majority of babies were born outside marriage, while in eight others two-thirds of babies were born to married parents.

The proportion of babies born out of wedlock has grown significantly in Mediterranean Member States

With six in every ten babies born to unmarried parents, France had the largest proportion (59.7%) of births outside marriage in the EU.

France was closely followed by Bulgaria and Slovenia (both 58.6%).

More than half of births also occurred outside marriage in Estonia (56.1%), Sweden (54.9%), Denmark (54.0%), Portugal (52.8%) and the Netherlands (50.4%).

In contrast, fewer than 1 in 10 babies were born to unmarried parents in Greece (9.4%).

Births outside marriage accounted for a quarter or fewer of all babies born in Croatia (18.9%), Cyprus (19.1%) and Poland (25%), and for under a third of babies born in Lithuania (27.4%), Italy (28.0%), Romania (31.3%) and Malta (31.8%).

Compared with the situation in 2000, the proportion of births outside marriage rose in all EU States, albeit to different extents.

And the proportion of babies born out of wedlock has grown significantly in Mediterranean Member States.

It has increased eightfold in Cyprus (from 2.3% in 2000 to 19.1% in 2016).

It has tripled in Malta (from 10.6% to 31.8%) and Italy (from 9.7% to 28.0%), while it is now about 2.5 times higher in Spain (from 17.7% to 45.9%), Greece (from 4.0% to 9.4%) and in another southern Member State: Portugal (from 22.2% to 52.8%).

Births outside marriage remained relatively stable between 2000 and 2016 in northern Europe, notably in the Nordic Member States (Sweden, Finland and Denmark), in Ireland and the United Kingdom, as well as in the Baltic Member States (Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania).

Cyprus  |  EU  |  babies  |  marriage

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