The Malta Independent 21 March 2019, Thursday

32% of live births in Malta occurred outside of marriage in 2016

Saturday, 11 August 2018, 10:00 Last update: about 8 months ago

Nearly 32% of live births in Malta in 2016 occurred outside of marriage, according to recently released Eurostat figures.

The proportion of live births which occurred outside marriage in the EU stood at 43 % in 2016. “This is just over 15 percentage points above the value in 2000. From 2000 the share steadily increased by around 1 percentage point each year, signalling changing patterns of family formation, with births occurring in non-marital relationships, cohabiting couples and to lone parents,” Eurostat states.


In Malta, the figures regarding the proportion of live births outside of marriage show that between 2007 and 2015, the percentage fluctuated in the 20s - with 2011 seeing the lowest amount in that date range - sometimes rising, other times falling. Yet the figure jumped from 26.9% in 2015 to 31.8% in 2016.

“In eight EU Member States in 2016 there were more live births registered outside marriage than within marriage: France (60%), Bulgaria and Slovenia (both 59 %), Estonia (56%), Sweden (55%), Denmark (54%), Portugal (53%) and the Netherlands (50%). In contrast, more than 80 % of live births in Greece, Croatia and Cyprus were registered within marriage. Between 2015 and 2016, extramarital births increased in almost every EU Member State with the exception of Estonia, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary and the United Kingdom. In Bulgaria and Ireland there was no variation. In the EFTA countries Switzerland and Liechtenstein, the proportion of births outside marriage in 2016 was below 25%, in contrast to Norway (56%) and Iceland (70%).”

During the same time frame, the mean age of women at the birth of their first child was on the rise in Malta, being 26.9 in 2007 rising to 29.1 in 2016. In 2016, the EU average age oif women giving birth to their first child was 29.



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