• Germany edition
 
One third of children born out of wedlock
Photo: DPA

One third of children born out of wedlock

Published: 12 Aug 2011 14:07 GMT+02:00
Updated: 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
Frankfurt court lifts national Uber ban
Uber manager for Germany Fabien Nestmann leaves the Frankfurt court on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Frankfurt court lifts national Uber ban

App-based chauffeur car service Uber is no longer illegal in Germany, a Frankfurt court ruled on Tuesday afternoon. READ  

Chef admits Düsseldorf killing spree
Yanquing in court in Düsseldorf on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Chef admits Düsseldorf killing spree

A gunman who killed three people in Düsseldorf and injured four others in a shooting spree at two lawyers’ offices admitted his guilt on Tuesday. READ  

Man dies six days after chemical blast
The plant was destroyed in the explosion. Photo: DPA

Man dies six days after chemical blast

An engineer who was called to fix a defect at a chemical waste plant which then exploded has died of his injuries – six days after the huge blast near Bremen. READ  

German universities tumble in global rankings
Students at Heidelberg University. Photo: DPA

German universities tumble in global rankings

Three-quarters of German universities have fallen in global standings in the last year, with just one institution among the top 50 in the world, according to rankings released on Tuesday. READ  

Germany prepares to send drones to Ukraine
A Luna drone belonging to the German military. Photo: DPA

Germany prepares to send drones to Ukraine

German unmanned drones could soon be flying over eastern Ukraine to keep an eye on pro-Russian rebel troop movements. READ  

'Why I'm camping for six days outside Apple store'
Photo: The Local

'Why I'm camping for six days outside Apple store'

Most holidaymakers on a week-long camping trip pitch up by lakes or next to the beach. But two Berliners are hoping to break a record by settling in for six days outside the city's Apple Store to be the first to get their hands on new iPhone 6. READ  

Netflix launches in Germany (in English too)
Some of the cast of Orange is the New Black at a photocall in Mexico. Photo: DPA

Netflix launches in Germany (in English too)

UPDATE: TV streaming service Netflix opened its virtual doors in Germany on Tuesday in the face of stiff competition from existing players. Users will be able to watch hit shows and movies in English on the German service. READ  

Auschwitz guard charged over 300,000 deaths
The gates at the former concentration camp of Auschwitz. Photo: DPA

Auschwitz guard charged over 300,000 deaths

A 93-year old man from Lower Saxony will stand trial for 300,000 counts of accessory to murder at the Auschwitz death camp while a member of the Waffen-SS. READ  

Germany can't crack 'CIA double agent' laptop
Photo: DPA

Germany can't crack 'CIA double agent' laptop

An alleged CIA double agent secured his laptop so well that German secret services have failed to crack it since he was arrested in July, according to reports. READ  

Lufthansa pilots abandon Frankfurt strike plans
Ready to go again. Photo: DPA

Lufthansa pilots abandon Frankfurt strike plans

UPDATE: Pilots' union Cockpit has announced that a planned strike at Frankfurt Airport on Tuesday has been called off. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Fashion Ladies of the Local: Win a New Autumn Look
Photo: DPA
Politics
These men want to be the next mayor of Berlin
Photo: Shutterstock
Business & Money
The three types of firms hiring foreigners
Photo: DPA
National
Neo-Nazis are attacking newspaper offices
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Election night in Brandenburg and Thuringia
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Berlin spy station sees tourism boom
Photo: DPA/ESA
Tech
VIDEO: How one German astronaut sees Earth
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Frisky couple shock Berlin commuters
Photo: DPA
Politics
Are Germans right to want cooler relations with USA?
Photo: Bayernpartei/DPA
Politics
Why some Bavarians want a Scottish 'Yes'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
12 things to do in Berlin for less than a latte
Photo: Facebook
National
Bavarian waiter breaks beer-carrying record
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
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

3,275
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd