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42% of births in the EU are outside marriage

The proportion of live births outside marriage in the EU stood at 42% in 2018. This is 17 percentage points above the value in 2000. It signals new patterns of family formation alongside the more traditional model where children were born within a marriage. Extramarital births occur in non-marital relationships, among cohabiting couples and to lone parents.

In 2018, extramarital births outnumbered births inside marriages in eight EU Member States: France (60%), Bulgaria (59%), Slovenia (58%), Portugal (56%), Sweden (55%), Denmark and Estonia (both 54%) as well as the Netherlands (52%).

Greece and Croatia were at the other end of the spectrum along with Lithuania and Poland as more than 70% of births in each of these Member States occurred within marriages.

Eurostat, 17 July 2020