Germany's birth rate stagnates

5th September 2009, Comments 1 comment

Merkel has launched a host of initiatives to encourage Germans to have bigger families, including creating more creche places and offering generous parental leave policies.

Berlin -- Germany's birth rate, one of Europe's lowest, showed little sign of perking up in 2008, statistics showed Friday, in a blow to Chancellor Angela Merkel's family policy three weeks before elections.

German women produced on average 1.38 children in 2008, compared to a rate of 1.37 in 2007, according to the Federal Statistics Office.

In total, 683,000 babies were born in Germany last year, 2,000 fewer than in the previous year.

Merkel has launched a host of initiatives to encourage Germans to have bigger families, including creating more creche places and offering generous parental leave policies.

Family Affairs Minister Ursula von der Leyen had hoped to hit the level of 690,000 births last year.

For the past 40 years, the birth rate in Europe's most populous country has oscillated between 1.3 and 1.4, compared to a European average of 1.5.

Germany finds itself at the bottom of Europe's birth table, along with countries such as Italy, Spain, Poland and Portugal.

For the first time since the country was reunified in 1990, women from former communist East Germany had more babies than their counterparts in the west.

Germany, like many European countries, is grappling with a greying population with a falling number of working people supporting with their taxes a rising number of retirees.

AFP/Expatica

1 Comment To This Article

  • Aerikanisch 4ever posted:

    on 20th October 2009, 23:20:34 - Reply

    In order for a culture to sustain itslef for the next 50 years, you absolutely MUST need a fertility rate of 2.11 pc . USA has 2.11 pc thanks to the latino culture. Germany, Holland and Italy are the worst performers and will definately fail as a culture in the next 40 years. Immigrants of Arabic decent (incl. Turkei) will be the dominant culture in Germany and most of Europe in 40 to 50 years. There will be a darkening of the Germanic skin. Germans tried to create incentive (which they rarely do otherwise) by having babies for money. Similar to the autos for money. Its not working. Its only creating single mothers with multiple kids from different fathers. This only creates crime rates to rise and these kids to be institutionalized aka Lebensborn. The German people need to get hold of themselves and realize that the state is controlling how they reproduce and make kids not via love....The Bundesrepublik says they are a "God" or "Christian" nation to use these words for the meaning of not having abortions. Then again Germany is a leading Atheist nation... Schade