About half of all babies born to unwed parents

According to data released Wednesday by the Central Statistics Office (CSP), 20,600 babies were born in Latvia in 2013, of whom 9,200, or 44.6% were born to parents who were not married.

Moreover, more than half (53%) of Latvia’s first-borns who came into the world in 2013 were born to unmarried parents.

Compared to the data from 1990, when 83.1% of all babies were born into families of married parents, by the year 2000 the percentage had fallen to 59.6%. The indicator has fallen every year (except for between 2005-2008 when it rose slightly by 1.5%) until last year when the figure stood at just 55.4%.

Beginning with the year 1997, the average age of women bearing their first child fell to below that of women getting married for the first time.

In 2000 the average woman in Latvia got married at the age of 24.9 years, while her average counterpart first-time mommy gave birth at the age of 24.4 years. Meanwhile, by 2013 women’s average first marriage age was up to 28.5 years, whereas first children were born to women of average age 26.9 years.

Census data show that in 2011 Latvia there were 587,700 families, of whom 39.6% (232,700) had minor-aged children. Of these families 45.8% (106,500) were headed by wedded parents, while 15.3% (35,700) were families with unmarried partners as parents, and 33.6% (78,200) were single-mom families.

In 2011 there were 340,400 children living in families, 49% of whom lived with married parents, 31% with single moms, 16% with unmarried partners and 4% with single dads.

For comparison, in 2013 in Lithuania 70.5% of children were born to wedded parents, while in Estonia the percentage was the lowest in the European Union – just 41.2%. The highest percentage of kids among EU member-states born into families whose parents are married was in Greece – 92.4%.

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