C-section rates exceed 40 per cent in some EU countries


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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At least 1.4 million caesarean sections were performed in the European Union (EU) in 2017, however, there was significant variation in where these procedures took place. 

Data released by Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Union, show that in most EU member states, between 200 and 390 caesarean sections were performed per 100,000 inhabitants in 2017.

Caesareans were most frequent in Cyprus where they accounted for more than half of all live births (54.8% of all live births in 2017). This was followed by Romania (44.1%), Bulgaria (43.1%), Poland (39.3%) and Hungary (37.3%). 

The lowest share of caesarean sections was in Finland (16.5%), Sweden (16.6%), Estonia and Lithuania (both 19.4%) and France (19.7%).

Eurostat data also show that there has been an increase in laparoscopic hysterectomies in European Union countries in recent years. A total of 20 out of 22 EU member states for which data are available for 2012 and 2017 reported an increase in the number of laparoscopic hysterectomies. The exceptions were Cyprus and Slovenia. Three member states, namely, Romania, Malta and Sweden, reported the frequency of this procedure more than doubling, while in Hungary, it quadrupled.