Twinning rates in developed countries have recently registered an increase. At the end of the 1970s, the change in mother's age structure has partially contributed to the growth in the proportion of multiple births. In fact, the evolution of twinning rates is related to the calendar of maternity since, comparatively to younger mothers, older women more frequently have twins. Moreover, the growing frequency of multiple births also depends on fertility treatments, which are largely used in the developed countries. National data from the civil birth registration systems are taken into account in order to describe, in a comparative study, the main trends of twinning rates in the 20th century.