• Germany's news in English
 

One third of children born out of wedlock

Published: 12 Aug 2011 14:07 GMT+02:00

The figures released by the Federal Statistics Office (Destatis) on Friday showed that 33 percent of the roughly 678,000 children born last year were born to parents that were not married.

In 1990 the figure was less than half this share – just 15 percent. Last year’s figure was a half percentage point rise on 2009.

But there was a massive gulf between eastern and western German states. Some 61 percent of babies born last year in the former communist East were to unmarried parents, compared to 27 percent in the West.

The eastern states of Saxony-Anhalt and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania had the highest rate of birth outside wedlock, each with 64 percent, followed by Brandenburg with 62 percent. The lowest rate was in the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg with 22 percent, followed by Hesse and Bavaria, each with 26 percent.

One interesting trend is that many couples get married after having children, or at least after their first child. Some 43 percent of first-born children last year were out of wedlock. One in five couples marrying last year already had at least one child.

The figures put Germany actually below the European average. Across the European Union, 38 percent of children born in 2009 were out of wedlock. Estonia had the highest rate, with 59 percent while the lowest was Greece with just 7 percent.

DAPD/The Local/djw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

14:53 August 12, 2011 by aymon
Dictionary definition of Bastard:

bas·tard

n. 1. A child born out of wedlock.
16:06 August 12, 2011 by aspiadas
I have a couple of bas.tards
18:47 August 12, 2011 by storymann
And the point???
19:30 August 12, 2011 by bigpainingermany
It is better to have a child been born in wedlock and survive than been marriage and have a child slaughter to death in Frankfurt am Main. People I manage to explained what happen to my child in the hands of those Murdered offen say to me what happened to your child was just a murder. Does it happen in Germany? eventhough one says it happens in Frankfurt am Main.
20:21 August 12, 2011 by marimay
Huh, what? :/
21:32 August 12, 2011 by danceswithgoats
A recipe for low performance and societal/cultural collapse is a high number of out of wedlock births. Even with the high rate of abortions in Germany; still 33% are born out of wedlock. Compare out of wedlock birth rates by ethnic/racial group in the US with academic achievement and see what you find. A mitigating factor may be that many of the out of wedlock births are by older mothers that may be more financially stable. Nonetheless, this only is part and parcel of the catastrophic demographics of Germany and most of W. Europe. Remember, the future belongs to those that show up for it. Somewhere between abortion, out of wedlock births, and Kindergeld; Germany must find a future.
23:56 August 12, 2011 by zmoke
Do you need be married with the children's mother if you the father...? Or is child out of wedlock if you are not?

I thinks that's normal setup with grown up germans atleast in south.

These german rednecks have habits from stone age.
01:22 August 13, 2011 by Joshen
@danceswithgoats

I think you are overreacting a bit. As it said in the article this shows on a shift in social norms. Marriage is not as important to young people these days. Does it mean that more of these "bastards" are being born into unstable families? No, not necessarily. I think they are being born into familys where the parents are not seing marriage as a crucial ingredient to being a family.

Being born out of wedlock doesn't necessarily mean that you where concieved at a one-night-stand! This is not the 18th century.
11:32 August 13, 2011 by danceswithgoats
Joshen - so, are they being born into "stable" homes? I would be willing to be that some are and most are not. England is getting a taste of what happens when "social norms" shift.

I am sure that most are not born out of one-night-stands.
20:34 August 13, 2011 by Joshen
@danceswithgoats

I agree that some are while some are not. That is the reason why I wrote "not necesserily". Bottom line is that I think that it is a false assumption that a family that gets kids without being married is more unstable than one with married parents.
21:49 August 13, 2011 by catjones
Not to mention children born into a wedded household only to end up with a divorced parent. Marriage does not produce stability. What's the difference if you are born to a single parent or end up with one?
13:55 August 15, 2011 by LecteurX
There are lots of unmarried couples who stay together longer than the married ones! Being born out of wedlock does not mean the same as being born to a single mother.

It's so annoying, always the same story: you get a "society" article, all the conservatives immediately get on their moral high horse and produce unfounded theories out of thin air or Bronze Age principles. Let's look at some FACTS (you know, tangible evidence) first. Here are some countries with much higher out-of-wedlock birthrates, or OOW (as of 2007) than Germany has, and see the fertility rate (F, 2005-2010 according to UN):

Iceland: OOW = 66% - F = 2,05 kids per woman

Sweden: OOW = 55%, F = 1,8 kid per woman

Norway: OOW = 54%; F = 1,85 kid per w.

France: OOW = 50%; F= 1,9 kid per w.

Denmark: OOW = 46%; F = 1,8 kid p. w.

Netherlands: OOW = 40%; F = 1,72 kid p. w.

Ireland: OOW = 33%; F = 2 kids p. w.

I willingly left out the UK and US. All these are not countries currently in a situation of "demographic collapse" as Germany is. These are different countries with different cultures (well we see a trend with the Nordic / Scandinavian ones there but we also have Catholic Ireland and secular France in the list, + UK and US).

There's no point being simplistic here; because there's no simple, one-size-fits-all explanation. However, thanks for trying Joshen, but I don't think you'll manage to convince people who disagree with you that married couples are not necessarily more stable or happier or better performing than unmarried ones. I do agree with you, but usually people make up their minds regardless of facts they are presented with... Here are my sources for the stats, btw

For OOW birthrates by country: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legitimacy_(law)#Current_trends

For Fertility rates by woman and by country: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sovereign_states_and_dependent_territories_by_fertility_rate
15:59 August 15, 2011 by Wise Up!
Results of a socialist welfare state; where the gov't takes over the role of provider and the biological father is made irrelevant. Germany is becoming a Third World country that's so in debt and so dependent.
22:07 August 18, 2011 by yourholiness
What matters most is whether the father is around on a daily basis.
Today's headlines
Ethiopia's Legese wins Berlin half marathon
Ethiopia's Legese (R) crosses the finish line just ahead of Kenya's Kogei. Photo: APF

Ethiopia's Legese wins Berlin half marathon

Ethiopia's Birhanu Legese won the Berlin half marathon on Sunday as African runners dominated the top ten finishers in the men's race. READ  

Spectator killed in Nürburgring crash
A section of the Nürburgring's north circuit

Spectator killed in Nürburgring crash

A man has been killed and several others injured in an accident at Germany's Nürburgring racetrack. READ  

Alps Plane Crash
Germany to hold April service for crash victims
Photo: DPA

Germany to hold April service for crash victims

Germany will hold a national memorial ceremony and service on April 17 for victims of the Germanwings flight that crashed in the French Alps, killing all 150 aboard, regional authorities said on Saturday. READ  

Scientists aiming to redefine the kilogram
The world's roundest sphere. Photo: DPA

Scientists aiming to redefine the kilogram

The German Nation Metrology Institute (PTB) in Braunschweig has set itself the enormous task of finding a new formula for measuring a kilogram. READ  

Alps Plane Crash
Germanwings co-pilot 'hid illness' on crash day
Photo: DPA

Germanwings co-pilot 'hid illness' on crash day

Germanwings said on Friday that it had no knowledge of a doctor-signed sick note found by investigators at flight 4U9525 co-pilot Andreas Lubitz's flat. READ  

Varoufakis quells rumours of resignation
Yanis Varoufakis. Photo: DPA

Varoufakis quells rumours of resignation

Update: After German tabloid Bild reported that Germany's least-favourite Greek minister Yanis Varoufakis was considering resigning, the minister rejected the story on Twitter. READ  

Germany to expand disability rights
Photo: DPA

Germany to expand disability rights

A representative of the German Labour Ministry went before a UN Committee on Friday to discuss the government's plan for improved rights for disabled people. READ  

Alps Plane Crash
Germanwings captain's compassion goes viral
Photo: DPA

Germanwings captain's compassion goes viral

A Facebook post describing how a Germanwings pilot personally reassured his passengers of their safety on a flight on Wednesday has received over quarter of a million likes. READ  

Bundestag passes 'foreigner toll' for roads
Photo: DPA

Bundestag passes 'foreigner toll' for roads

The Bundestag (German parliament) passed a hugely controversial law on Friday which will charge foreigners for the use of German roads. READ  

Alps Plane Crash
Airlines agree two-person cockpit rule
Photo: DPA

Airlines agree two-person cockpit rule

The Federation of the German Air Travel Industry (BDL) confirmed on Friday afternoon that from now on two people must be in the cockpit at all times, in a bid to avoid a repeat of the Germanwings disaster. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
National
Last-minute drama of Germany's Eurovision 2015 entry
National
German photographer takes world's top prize
Features
Meet the woman getting Germans to drink more – and better – beer
Gallery
Get inspired for International Women's Day with German heroes
Sponsored Article
Expert US tax preparation for Americans in Germany
Green party proposes first-ever cannabis legalization plan
Gallery
In pictures: Germany's seven most livable cities
National
Singapore canes Germans for train graffiti
Politics
Surprise! Germans love feeling like they run the EU
Politics
Anger over plan to show women what men earn
Travel
Munich tram fans bicker over new bell
Features
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
Photo: Police
Rhineland
Student driver crashes tank into family garden.
Photo: DPA
Politics
There was a notable absence at the Anti-Semitism Commission
National
How Dresden bombing still divides Germany, 70 years on
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Take a cute break with this gallery of baby animals
International
What's keeping UK expats from voting?
Photo: DPA
National
Terror alert at a new high. Should you be worried?
Gallery
The best regional foods TTIP opponents want to protect
Photo: DPA
Features
All you ever needed to know about Pegida
Photo: Shutterstock
Culture
This cosplayer did not think his plan through
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

7,138
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd