Vladislava Stankūnienė, head of the Demographic Studies Centre at the Vytautas Magnus University in Lithuania, says the statistics have to do with the fact that the Western tradition of starting families at a later age came to Eastern Europe later.
Lithuanian females become mothers at an increasingly older age, therefore, in Stankūnienė’s words, it is important to ensure proper conditions for matching professional and family life.
According to Eurostat’s 2016 data published last week, Bulgarians are the youngest females in Europe to become mothers (age of 26), followed by Romanians (26.4), Latvians (26.8), Slovakians (27), Poles (27.2) and Lithuanians (27.3). Italians bear their first child at the oldest average age (31.
As compared with earlier surveys, the average age of first-time Lithuanian mothers is increasing from 27 in 2014, 26 in 2010, 25.6 in 2008 and 23 in 1998.
The VDU scientist says the changes mean transformation of families, with Lithuania catching up with the tendencies prevailing in Western Europe – families are started later, they are less stable with fewer children born at a later age of parents.
The majority of Lithuanians – 67 percent – had their first child at the age of 20-29, while a fourth became mothers for the first time at over 30 and just over 6 percent started motherhood in their teenage years. One percent of Lithuanian females became mothers for the first time over the age of 40.