German birth rate falls to 10-year low

By Thomas Brooke
3 Min Read

The number of births registered across Germany last year was the lowest in 10 years, German newspaper Die Welt reported on Friday.

Registrations of newborns dropped in every federal state in the country, according to the Federal Statistical Office. Its data showed there were 738,819 registered births last year, down 7 percent versus 2021.

Germans are now only having 1.46 children on average, an 8 percent decrease from the 1.58 average recorded in 2021 and the lowest figure reported since 2013.

The birth rate “fell particularly sharply in Hamburg and Berlin,” noted the Federal Office, revealing it dropped by 10 percent in both regions.

The northwest city of Bremen recorded a weaker decline of 4 percent, while the average number of children among women in western Germany was slightly higher than eastern German states at 1.48 to 1.43 children, respectively.

The capital of Berlin has the lowest birth rate across the whole country with women bearing just 1.25 children on average, down considerably from 1.39 in 2021.

The average age of mothers with their first child dropped slightly from 30.5 years to 30.4 years, while first-time fathers are on average aged 33.3 which remained unchanged.

The birth deficit has been a considerable longstanding issue in Germany, which has experienced fewer births than deaths for 50 consecutive years. Rather than focusing on policies to promote the family unit, like countries such as Hungary, which provides fiscal incentives for mothers and large families, Germany’s federal government has sought to solve the problem with mass immigration.

Despite the birth deficit, Germany’s population has continued to soar due to large numbers of new arrivals. Its population increased by 1 percent in the first half of 2022, the largest increase since reunification, surpassing 84 million people for the first time.

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The knock-on effect of a labor shortage has been countered by migrant workers, a policy advocated by all members of Germany’s traffic light coalition and by Germany’s CDU party under its former leadership of Angela Merkel.

Earlier this month, German economist Monika Schnitzer, who heads the influential German government’s Council of Experts, claimed the country needs 1.5 million immigrants every year to address the imbalance in its labor force.

Germany isn’t alone with the decline in its fertility rate. Comparable data from other northern European countries showed a 10 percent drop in the Danish birth rate, while Norway and Sweden also recorded 9 percent drops in their birth rates last year, according to Die Welt.

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