According to Eurostat statistics, there were 1.55 live births per woman in the EU in 2018, ranging from 1.23 in Malta to 1.88 in France. The average age of women at the birth of a first child in the EU in 2018 was 29.3 years, ranging from 26.2 in Bulgaria to 31.2 in Italy. Almost half of children born in the EU in 2018 were first-born.
Fertility rates have been declining in the EU-27 since the mid-1960s (see Figure 5). The EU-27 as a whole had a total fertility rate above 2.1 live births per woman until the mid-1970s, ranging from 3.78 in Ireland to 1.98 in Estonia. Rates declined in the following decades and then saw a modest recovery, reaching 1.47 in 2005 before climbing to 1.57 in 2010. Total fertility rates for the EU-27 have since fallen back slightly, dipping to 1.51 in 2013; they currently stand at 1.55 (in 2018).
Total fertility rates in the world as a whole have also been on a generally declining trend, albeit from a much higher starting point of around five live births per woman in 1960. They fell below four in 1977 and to under three by 1993, and currently (2018) stand at 2.41.