Knowledge Center

Population

  • Total population of the European Union (EU-27) in January 2011 was 502,122,750.1
  • In 2010, women made up 51.2% of the population, compared with 48.8% men.2
  • The median age of the EU was 40.6 years in 2009.3

Household

Percentage of Women by Childbearing Status, and the Distribution of Households by Number of Children in the EU in 20074
  Women Aged 33-37: % Childless Percentage of households that have one child Percentage of households that have two children Percentage of households that have three children Percentage of households that have four or more children
UK 30.4% 46.0% 39.6% 10.7% 3.7%
France 23.7% 45.3% 39.9% 11.7% 3.2%
Germany 31.5% 48.6% 39.5% 9.0% 3.0%
EU-25 27.0% 49.5% 38.9% 9.0% 2.6%

 

Fertility Rate

  • The fertility rate was 1.56 live births per woman in 2008 for the EU.5
  • The fertility rate gap between countries with the highest and lowest rates has been converging, narrowing to 0.83 in 2008.6

Education

  • In 2010, 81.8% of women aged 20 to 24 completed at least upper secondary education compared with 76.2% of men.7
  • In 2009, enrollment in tertiary schools was 19,470,400 people.8
    • 55.5% of those students were women.9

Government

  • Of the 27 cabinet members that make up the current European Commission, nine are women, or 33.3%.10
  • Of the 736 Parliament seats, nearly one-third are women.11
  • In 2011,
    • Seven of the 36 members of the European Communities Court of Justice are women, or 19.4%;12
    • Six of the 26 members of the General Court are women, or 23.1%13
    • Three of the eight members of the Civil Service Tribunal are women, or 37.5%.14

Labour Force

  • In the fourth quarter of 2010, the total labour force participation rate for persons aged 15 to 64 was 64.2%.15
    • 58.2% of women were employed.16
    • 70.2% of men were employed.17
  • The average of maternal employment rate was 66.2% in 2009.18
  • The "unadjusted gender pay gap," or, the difference between hourly male earnings and hourly female earnings, was 16.4 % in 2010 (provisional value).19

 

 

NOTE: All figures, except where specified, are based on the 27 countries that make up the EU as of 2012.

How to cite this product: Catalyst. Catalyst Quick Take: Women in Europe. New York: Catalyst, 2012.