New stats for Europe: Family responsibilities still push women out of the labour market

Nearly one woman in five aged 25-54 outside the labour market in Europe

In the EU27 in 2009, the inactivity rate of women aged between 25 and 54 years was 22.1%, compared with 8.2% formen. Among the Member States, the lowest inactivity rates for women aged 25-54 were found in Slovenia (12.1%), Sweden (12.9%) and Denmark (13.0%), while Malta (51.1%), Italy (35.5%), Romania (29.4%) and Greece (29.0%) had the highest.

The period between the ages of 25 and 54 is the main working age, and also the age when families are started and children are raised. The main single reason for prime working aged women to be outside the labour market is therefore family responsibilities. Family responsibilities  include looking after children or after incapacitated adults, pregnancy or other family responsibility (own illness is not included).

Among prime working aged women in the EU27 in 2009, 10.1% stated they were outside the labour market due to family responsibilities, almost half of all women of this age outside the labour market. The percentage mentioning family responsibilities varied greatly between Member States: Denmark (1.4%) had the lowest rate, followed by Sweden (1.8%) and Slovenia (3.6%). At the other end of the scale, Malta (40.4%) had by far the highest rate, followed by Greece (16.2%) and Luxembourg (15.6%).

Source: Eurostat

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