European Union Statistics Looking at Gender Gaps
Thursday, March 20, 2008 3:41 PM

32/2008 - 6 March 2008

8 March 2008: International Women’s Day

A third of managers are women.

More women go to the theatre and more men to sports events.

What is the average age of women at the birth of their first child? At what age do women and men get married? What are the employment and unemployment rates for women? What is the proportion of female teachers? What proportion of managers or Members of national Parliaments are women? What are the differences in cultural activities of women and men? Answers to these questions and to other can be found in this News Release published on the occasion of the International Women’s Day on 8 March 2008.

On the same occasion, Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities, also releases the publication "The life of women and men in Europe." Life expectancy for women varies between 76 in Romania, Bulgaria and Latvia, and 84 in France and Spain. In 2006, life expectancy in the EU27 was 80.9 years for women and 74.6 years for men, which is a difference of 6.3 years. In all Member States life expectancy was higher for women than for men. The highest life expectancies for women were observed in Spain and France (both 84.4 years) and Italy (83.8 in 2004), and the lowest in Romania(76.2), Bulgaria and Latvia (both 76.3). The Member States with the largest differences in life expectancy between women and men were Lithuania (11.7 years), Estonia (11.2) and Latvia (10.9), and the smallest were Cyprus(3.6), United Kingdom (4.0 in 2005), the Netherlands and Sweden (both 4.3).

Women's age at first marriage varies between 25 in Lithuania and 31 in Sweden

The age of first marriage was higher for both women and men in 2006 than in 2000 in all Member States, with an average of 28.1 years for women and 30.6 years for men in the EU27 in 2006, compared with 26.8 and 29.4 respectively in 2000. In 2006, the youngest women getting married for the first time were found in Lithuania (25.0 years), Romania (25.2), Poland (25.4), Bulgaria (25.7) and Latvia (25.9), and the oldest in Sweden (31.3), Denmark (30.7), France (29.5) and Finland (29.3).

In 2005 in the EU27, women were aged on average 28.1 when they had their first child, compared with 27.4 in 2000. This age increased between 2000 and 2005 in all Member States. In 2005, Bulgaria (24.7 years) had the youngest first time mothers, followed by Romania (24.8), Lithuania (24.9) and Latvia (25.0 in 2006), while the United Kingdom (30.0 in 2006), Spain (29.3 in 2006), Germany (29.1) and Luxembourg (29.0) had the oldest.

Around 70% of teachers in primary/secondary education are women, around 60% of teachers in tertiary education are men. In the EU27 in the third quarter of 2007, the employment rate2 for women aged 15-64 was 58.8%, compared with 73.2% for men. Denmark and Sweden (both 73.3%) and the Netherlands (70.1%) recorded the highest female rates, and Malta (37.5%), Italy (46.9%) and Greece (48.2%) the lowest.

The unemployment rate in January 2008 was 7.4% for women in the EU27, compared with 6.3% for men. Female unemployment rates ranged from 3.2% in the Netherlands and 3.5% in Denmark (in December 2007) to 12.6% in Greece (in third quarter 2007) and 12.4% in Slovakia.

In the EU27 in 2005, female teachers were in the majority at primary and secondary level (69%), while at tertiary level there were fewer female teachers (38%) than male. There were more female teachers than male at primary/secondary level in all Member States for which data are available. Over 80% of primary/secondary teachers in Latvia (86%), Lithuania (84%) and Bulgaria (81%) were women. For teachers at tertiary level, the pattern was the opposite: there was a higher share of male teachers in all Member States, except for Latvia (58% female teachers) and Lithuania (53%).

A quarter of national MPs are women

In the EU27 in 2006 a third of managers4 were women. There were fewer female managers than male managers in all Member States, with the highest shares of female managers recorded in Latvia and Lithuania (both 41%), France (39%) and Hungary (37%).

In 2007, on average across the EU27, a quarter of Members of national Parliaments and a quarter of senior government ministers were women. Almost half of the Members of Parliament in Sweden (47%) were women, followed by Finland (42%), the Netherlands (39%) and Denmark (37%). The share was lowest in Malta (9%), Hungary and Romania (both 11%). More than half of senior government ministers in Finland (60%) were women, followed by Sweden (45%) and Spain (41%), while there were no female senior government ministers in Romania and 6% in Greece and Slovakia.

Leisure activities differ between women and men

In the EU27 in 2007, a slightly larger proportion of men than women (53% and 50% respectively) had gone to the cinema in the last 12 months, while a much higher proportion of men than women (53% and 29%) had attended a sports event. On the other hand, a larger share of women than men had gone to the theatre (34% and 29%) or had read a book (74% and 67%).

Issued by:

Eurostat Press Office
Tel: +352-4301-33 444

Published in: "8 March 2008--International Women's Day," Press Release, Eurostat, 6 March 2008.