Up to the late 1950’s, the fertility rate on Aruba was high. Women gave birth to an average of 5 to 6 children. Since then, Aruba experienced a very rapid decrease in fertility. In about fifteen years’ time, the fertility rate dropped from a level of above five to around replacement level. In 2010, women gave birth to an average of 2.07 children. This trend is expected to continue for the upcoming years.
In 2010, women in Aruba give birth to their first child at an average age of 27.4 years, 2.2 years earlier than in 1960 when women gave birth to their first child at age 29.6 years. The average age of women who gave birth to their first child dropped substantially between 1960 and 1991 to pick up again between 1991 and 2010. Therefore it should come as no surprise that while in 1960, total fertility was highest in women between 25 and 29 years of age, in 2010, total fertility was highest in women between 20 and 24 years of age.
It is important to note that the drop in the average age at which women give birth to their first child is not related to teenage girls bearing children. Between 1991 and 2010 the fertility rate of girls between 15 and 19 years of age dropped from 57.1 in 1991 to 33.7 in 2013.
However, another important aspect of fertility is most definitely on the rise. While in 1960 the percentage of children born out of wedlock stood at 17.3%, in 2010, 62.1% of all births were illegitimate. This percentage is highest among the youngest age groups. Of children born to mother between 20 and 24 years of age, almost 8 out of 10 were born out of wedlock.
Despite the fact that this trend is observed in many countries around the world, Aruba scores very high compared to other countries.
Developments surrounding the fertility of the population of Aruba are certainly reflected in the composition of households in Aruba.