The Netherlands had just 1,350 teenage mothers on January 1 this year, and the number of girls giving birth continues to decline, according to a report published this week by news website Nu.nl.
Since 2000, the number of teenage mums has declined by almost 70% and last year just 1,022 girls under the age of 20 had a baby, figures from national statistics agency CBS show.
Proportionally, most teenage mothers are in the province of Flevoland, where 4.5 teenage girls per thousand are mothers, but that is still less than half of the province’s total in 2000.
Groningen is next on the list, with almost four teen mums per 1000. By contrast, just 1.8 of every 1000 Utrecht girls have a baby.
Ineke van der Vlugt from the Rutgers sexual health agency told Nu.nl there are various reasons for the decline. ‘Girls are more likely to use contraception and more girls are opting for an IUD, which offers better protection because there is less risk of using it wrongly,’ she said.
Contraception is also covered by health insurance for the under 18s.
In addition, young motherhood is viewed as less socially acceptable and more girls are continuing in education, she said. ‘Staying on at school does not combine with young parenthood,’ she said.
The Netherlands also has one of the lowest abortion rates in the world. Every year, around 31,000 abortions are carried out, a figure that also includes around 3,000 women who come to the Netherlands from abroad.
The number of teenagers undergoing an abortion has also been declining steadily, according to Rutgers figures. In 2021, 2,383 girls under the age of 20 terminated their pregnancies.
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