Facts and figures


  • Fertility rate is defined as the number of children that would be born to a woman over her lifetime, if age-specific fertility remained constant over her reproductive lifespan.
  • The total fertility rate across the countries of the European Union is very low. The rate declined from 2.6 in early 1960 to approximately 1.59 by 20091.
  • According to Fertility Europe, one in six couples needs help to conceive2.


  • More than one in five pregnancies ends in miscarriage. Most miscarriages happen in the first three months of pregnancy – but they can happen up to the 24th week. Pregnancy loss after 24 weeks is known as stillbirth3.

Ectopic pregnancies

  • One in one hundred pregnancies is ectopic4. This means the pregnancy is developing outside the womb – most often in one of the Fallopian tubes.

Congenital anomalies

  • In Europe, approximately 25% of neo-natal deaths are the result of congenital anomalies1.

Low birth weight babies

  • In the United States and Europe, 8% of infants are born with a low birth weight4.


  1. European Commission ‘Total fertility rate, 1960–2012 (live births per woman) YB14’ Available at: http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/statistics_explained/index.php/File:Total_fertility_rate,_1960–2012_(live_births_per_woman)_YB14.png
  2. Fertility Europe www.fertilityeurope.eu
  3. Miscarriage Association. (2006) Media Background http://www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk/ma2006/about/media_background.htm
  4. UNICEF, (2009) Birthweight Statistics http://www.childinfo.org/low_birthweight_profiles.php

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