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Is Germany a horrible place to raise a family?
Photo: DPA

Is Germany a horrible place to raise a family?

Published: 18 Dec 2012 11:48 CET

It's long been known that Germany faces a demographic collapse in the coming decades, as too few children are being born to keep the population from shrinking dramatically.

In fact, there are just ten countries in Europe that have a lower birth rate, which at 1.39 children per woman in Germany currently stands far below the replacement rate.

This is despite the buckets of money that Germany spends on families. While married couples with children benefit from hefty tax breaks, all parents also receive hundreds of euros in child subsidies each month. Introducing generous parental leave for up to 14 months a few years ago has also failed to really dent the country's birth dearth.

And a new study released on Monday revealed the country is becoming a less attractive place to have children as people struggle to balance the demands of a family with their careers.

So what's the problem? Do Germans simply not like kids? Are outdated stereotypes about being a "good mother" keeping women at home? Or have the authorities failed to offer enough day care options for working parents?

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