According to a Pew Research Center analysis, the United States has a non-marital birth rate of 41 percent compared to 39 percent in the European Union – a very similar average.
However, taking a closer look at Europe as a whole, there are massive differences between countries. Nations in the north of Europe have a far higher rate of birth outside marriage in comparison with southern nations. Over half of all births in Estonia, Norway, Sweden, Belgium and Denmark occur outside of marriage. Iceland is Europe’s runaway leader in non-marital births – 67 percent of live births occur outside marriage.
This chart shows the share of live births occurring outside marriage in the U.S. and selected European countries.
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