13:59 GMT +318 July 2018
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    A nurse attends to a newborn in the neo-natal ward of the Delafontaine hospital in Saint Denis near Paris. (File)

    Number of Births Outside Marriage on Rise in EU, France Tops List - Eurostat

    © AFP 2018 / JOEL SAGET
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The proportion of births outside marriage is on the rise in all EU member states to a greater or lesser extent, with the highest one recorded in France (59.7 percent in 2016) and the lowest in Greece (9.4 percent), the statistical office of the European Union (Eurostat) said in a statement on Monday.

    According to Eurostat, more than 5.1 million babies were born in the European Union in 2016.

    "With six in every ten babies born to unmarried parents, France had the largest proportion (59.7%) of live births outside marriage in the EU in 2016. France was closely followed by Bulgaria and Slovenia (both 58.6%). More than half of births also occurred outside marriage in Estonia (56.1%), Sweden (54.9%), Denmark (54.0%), Portugal (52.8%) and the Netherlands (50.4%)," the statement read.

    According to the statement, fewer than 1 in 10 babies were born to unmarried parents in Greece.

    The proportion of babies born out of wedlock amounted to a quarter or less in Croatia, Cyprus and Poland, and accounted for under a third in Lithuania, Italy, Romania and Malta.

    The share of births outside marriage has shown an upward trend in all member states compared to the 2000 levels, albeit to a different extent, the statistics revealed.

    Eurostat noted that the number of such births had soared in Mediterranean countries. In particular, it has increased eightfold in Cyprus (from 2.3 percent in 2000 to 19.1 percent in 2016), tripled in Malta (from 10.6 percent to 31.8 percent) and Italy (from 9.7 percent to 28.0 percent), while more than doubled in Spain, Greece and Portugal.

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