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Press release 06/07/2018


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Births in the Basque Country fell by 6.4% in 2017

40.7% of foreign mothers were under 30, compared with 13% of mothers of Spanish nationality

In 2017 the number of births in the Basque Country stood at 17,076, down 6.4% on the previous year, according to Eustat data. Among mothers of Spanish nationality the decrease was 7.5%, whilst among foreign mothers the decrease was lower, 2.4%.

Regarding the distribution by province, Gipuzkoa saw the greatest decrease (-7%), followed by Bizkaia (-6.9%) and, lastly, Álava (-3.7%), such that the number of births stood at 5,593, 8,522 and 2,961, respectively.

The birth rate was 7.8 births per thousand inhabitants, below the 8.4 births in Spain, according to provisional data. The highest rate was in Álava (9.1‰), followed by Gipuzkoa (7.8‰) and Bizkaia (7.5‰).


In 80.8% of births the mothers were aged 30 or over

The largest group was women aged between 30 and 34, who accounted for 36% of total births, although there was a fall of seven percentage points compared to 2016; this was followed by mothers aged between 25 and 39 (34.7%), with a slight decrease (2 tenths), and the group of mothers aged 40 or over, which continues to grow (10.1%), with a rise of six percentage points compared to the previous year. The number of babies being born to mothers aged between 25 and 29 (13.5%) registered a slight increase of 2 tenths and the group of mothers aged between 20 and 24 (4.5%) an increase of one tenth. Finally, teenage mothers accounted for 1.2% of the total, the same figure as the previous year.


The percentage of foreign mothers, 22.3%, continued to grow

Regarding nationality, 22.3% of mothers were foreign nationals, who gave birth to 3,810 girls and boys. In 2016 the percentage of foreign mothers was 21.4%. The most common countries of nationality were: Morocco, with 735 mothers, Romania (347), Colombia (247), Bolivia (210), Nigeria (194), Paraguay (181), Nicaragua (164), Ecuador (123), Algeria (119) and Brazil (116).

Foreign mothers had children at a younger age than those of Spanish nationality resident in the Basque Country: in 40.7% of cases they became mothers aged under 30, compared to 13% of mothers of Spanish nationality.

The average age of mothers was 33.5 years, with this average being higher, at 34.3 years, for Spanish mothers, and 30.8 years for mothers of foreign nationality.

The average age for first-time mothers – those who had their first child in 2017 – was 32.6.

The percentage of births outside marriage continued to increase

In 2017, births outside marriage rose to 7,492, an increase of 4.7% with respect to 2016. These births represent 43.9% of the total, compared to 43.1% in 2016. Bizkaia and Álava had percentages higher than the Basque Country average, 45.4% and 44.1% respectively, whereas in Gipuzkoa it was 41.4%. Ten years ago, in 2007, the percentage of births registered outside marriage was 27%.

Regarding the order of birth, the 8,609 first-born children in 2017 made up 50.4% of the total; second-borns, 38.8%; and third-borns and subsequent children, 10.8%.

The sex ratio among live births in 2017 was 107 boys to every 100 girls. The average weights were 3,307 grams for boys and 3,211 grams for girls.

The number of births rose to 16,767, of which 16,389 were single, 374 twins and 4 triplets. Out of all births, 935 were premature (5.6%).

For further information:

Eustat - Euskal Estatistika Erakundea / Basque Statistics Institute C/ Donostia-San Sebastián, 1 01010 Vitoria-Gasteiz Press Service: servicioprensa@eustat.eus Tel: 945 01 75 62

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Births in the Basque Country fell by 6.4% in 2017

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