A publication on Births in Iceland 1871-2004 is now available in the Statistical Series Hagtíðindi.

Live births in Iceland were 4,234 in 2004. Total fertility rate was thus 2.0 which is higher than in most other European societies. Turkey and Albania were the only countries in Europe with higher total fertility rate than Iceland. The total fertility rate has remained relatively stable in Iceland since the early 1990s. During the 20th century total fertility peaked during the 1960s to a rate of 4.3. 

It is shown that the trend in completed fertility by mothers' birth cohorts was much smoother than was the case with the trend in total fertility. Highest fertility rate was experienced by mothers' in births cohorts of the 1930s (3.5).

In recent decades Iceland has experienced pronounced increase in the age of mothers at child-birth. Between 1966 and 1970 the mean age of primparas was 21.3 as compared to 25.7 in 2004. During this period, age-specific fertility in the age groups below 25 has declined considerably whereas fertility above the age of 30 has remained stable. 

The share of extra-marital births is higher in Iceland than in any other country of Europe and in 2004 almost two thirds of all children were born out of wedlock. Most of those children were born to parents cohabiting and only 16.4 per cent of all mothers were not living with the child's father. The share of extra-marital births is considerably higher in the case of first births than is the case with children of higher parity.  

Births in Icleand 1871-2004 - publication


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