SPAIN has the highest proportion of over-40 first-time mothers in the EU as experts blame ‘job security’.
Based on 2017 data from the EU’s statistics agency, Eurostat, 8.8% of women in the country were over 40 when they gave birth to their first child.
Spain also has the highest proportion of first-time mothers in their 30s, at 60.2%.
Albert Esteve, director of the Demographic Studies Center at Barcelona’s Autonomous University, told El Pais there are ‘economic reasons’ behind the statistics.
“We are among the countries where independence happens later due to the lack of job security, low salaries and difficulty finding a place to live – factors which mean that people cannot leave home when they want to.”
The phenomenon in Spain has been building over the past decade, with births from mothers aged 40 and over rising 63%, according to the National Statistics Institute (INE).
Spanish youth are among the latest to leave home in the EU (average age is 29), while the average age for first-time mothers is 31.
Figures also show an average of 1.25 children per woman in 2018.
Diego Ramon, a demographic expert at the Spanish National Research Council, said that mature women are much more at risk of having failed pregnancies.
“More than 20% of women born in the 1970s will not have children,” he said.
”We have not yet caught up with Japan – where the figure is almost 30% – but there could be long-term consequences.
“For example, when people get old, they won’t have a family network to look after them and other care systems will have to be put in place.”