• Germany edition
 
Germans hunting Mr or Ms Right not having kids
Photo: DPA

Germans hunting Mr or Ms Right not having kids

Published: 17 Jan 2013 12:15 GMT+01:00
Updated: 17 Jan 2013 12:15 GMT+01:00

Childless Germans under 50 said the most common reason they had not plumped for parenthood was that they had not found the right partner, figures in the German Families Ministry's Families Report 2012 show.

Younger people said they were put off because they saw parenthood as a complicated balancing act - and were unwilling to walk the tight rope between work, life and children.

Of those non-parents under 50 years old, 39 percent said they felt they were too young to have kids, while 34 percent said they wanted to keep their free time for their hobbies.

The numbers show a shift compared with ten years ago, when most childless Germans said they had been putting off having babies due to financial concerns about whether or not they could afford it.

However, 34 percent now said the reason they had not had children was because they were uncertain about what their future held - which could be partly due to concerns over job security.

The report supported the recent findings of researchers from the Federal Institute for Population Research, who in December said that a quarter of German women born between 1964 and 1968 did not have children primarily because they believed motherhood was incompatible with pursuing a career.

The figures can be seen as a blow for the German government in its drive to raise the country's dismally low birth rate, Die Welt newspaper said on Thursday. Any government financial or social incentives could not compete against personal reasons for putting off having children, the paper said.

In the latest measure, the government said it would grant children under three a legal claim to a place in a nursery or with a child carer from August 2013, although recent data showed the country was behind schedule in providing capacity for this.

Worldwide, Germany is one of the countries with the highest number of childless women, but Families Minister Kristina Schröder remained optimistic on Wednesday. The new report showed signs that the German birth rate would slowly begin to increase, she said.

Figures showed a rise in the number of people who said they wanted children and suggested that more women who want children were putting off having kids until they were at least 30. Furthermore, said Minister Schröder, the number of well-educated people having children was back on the rise after several years of decline.

DAPD/The Local/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

14:17 January 17, 2013 by yllusion
Fears of having a child due to uncertain future... nobody can be certain about the future. Not having a child because one couldn't find an appropriate partner... the people under 50 had about 30 years to find someone. Perhaps they forgot to be good partners themselves. Europe is big. Not wanting to have children in order to have spare time for career and hobbies... 100% selfishness. Procreation is our dutie, it is returning back the opportunity, the gift of life, that once was given to us to come experience this planet.
14:31 January 17, 2013 by SeoKungFu
Hunting sounds rather menacing for such type of human relations :D
14:43 January 17, 2013 by Zubair Khan
All excuses given by the people can be termed as lame excuses. Whole nature is a beautiful mixture of balance in each sphere. Refraining from child production naturally is going to disturb this phenomenon of balance in Germany. In fact it is more of moral, social and ethical subject. Those preferring to remain childless need appropriate education to change the mind set. After all such people were also given the chance to come to the world and to enjoy. Why they are declining the same right to their future to be generation. Merely surveys will not suffice. Concerned departments have to formulate concrete policies to change this mind set lest it become too late to repent.
15:11 January 17, 2013 by pigsnuck
I keep telling these Germans: the reason for your low birthrate is having 2 mattresses on a double bed with 2 duvets! How can a child be conceived in such hostile conditions, with knees falling between mattresses and women able to cocoon themselves in their own protective blanket rather than take one for the team?

To be honest, I'm surprised there are any Germans at all!
16:47 January 17, 2013 by iseedaftpeople
I'll give you a reason why I'm single, in my 30s, (financially independent and self-employed).

The women I have met in recent years are all incredibly desperate to finally find a man to settle down with. Apparently because they think their biological clock is ticking and there aren't many fish left in the sea for them, so they don't pull any punches and on the third or fourth date they give you to understand they don't look to play around. They want to settle down if possible the day before yesterday, and it blows their mind when you tell them that you personally don't really see the rush.

Maybe I have been seeing the wrong kind of women, but that is something that really puts me off. I too would like to be with somebody again, and yes, if more develops, bit by bit, then I wouldn't have anything against it. But frankly when somebody rushes in on me like that, it's just about as unattractive as they come.
17:06 January 17, 2013 by lovemymac&cheez
Having children is such a personal decision.

Why are people labeling those who chose not to have them as "selfish"? Shouldn't it be labeled "responsible" instead?- I mean, the planet is overpopulated already, and the resources are not getting any better. Just because Mrs. nobody wanted to be mommy doesn't mean everyone HAS to suffer.

Isn't is more selfish to spawn a little one just to fit into society and spread your genes, to send him school alone in the bahn at age 5-6 while comfortably collecting kindergeld, and then using the child as an excuse not to do anything else out of life?

Or is it just that the selfishness comes out of own fear of not having some moron paying for your "rente" in 30 years?
17:32 January 17, 2013 by The-ex-pat
I keep telling these Germans: the reason for your low birthrate is having 2 mattresses on a double bed with 2 duvets! How can a child be conceived in such hostile conditions, with knees falling between mattresses and women able to cocoon themselves in their own protective blanket rather than take one for the team?

When my (German) girlfriend and I moved together, she was horrified that I was of the mindset, one bed, one duvet. The idea caused quite a bit of tension. 22 years later of happy marriage, she hates it when we stay places or with other people and there on the bed waiting for us is..............two duvets.....However, I have never got the two mattresses to be a single.....
17:37 January 17, 2013 by yllusion
This "personal decision" argument doesn't hold. We can take personal decisions about everything, but obviously it doesn't mean that the decisions we take are right, or wise or reasonable. Personal decisions are often biased and based on an incomplete knowledge about things, they often lack broad perspective. Holding to the right of "personal decisions" as if your freedom was being threatened by an opposing point of view can be very likely another sign of selfishness.

Another argument that doesn't hold is claiming that not having children is a heroic decision, i.e., by saving them from bad parenting. It is everybody's obligation to be good parents and it's society's obligation to take good care of the ones who will carry mankind forward one day.

Overpopulation in the world is happening in poor and undeveloped countries with undeveloped mentality. If the developed world doesn't raise their offspring we can already dig our graves and give up on mankind because we'll have nobody in 100-150 years to carry on good values, good attitude, knowledge, science, culture, etc. and push the world forward. We'll have to wait 1000 years more until we somehow restore what we lost.

Family is the most important and fundamental structure that nurtures the human development. Lack of family or lack of good family increases the chances of forming individuals who are unprepared to live in a harmonious healthy society.
18:45 January 17, 2013 by Englishted
@Zubair Khan

Too late somebody beat you to the idea,on 12 August 1938 somebody who shall remain nameless gave a Mothers Medal , a gold medal was awarded to women with seven children, a silver to women with six, and a bronze to women with five.

Is this in line with your thinking ?.
19:50 January 17, 2013 by raandy
ex pat , thats good ,LOL.

Its a German thing, finding the perfect sole mate is a major undertaking, a few make it most are dubious , maybe with good reason.
21:15 January 17, 2013 by gwenness
Can I go with both lines of comments? The Germans are too selfish to share their duvets? lol
02:34 January 18, 2013 by The-ex-pat
Q 18:45 January 17, 2013 by Englishted

@Zubair Khan Too late somebody beat you to the idea,on 12 August 1938 somebody who shall remain nameless gave a Mothers Medal , a gold medal was awarded to women with seven children, a silver to women with six, and a bronze to women with five. Is this in line with your thinking ?.

If you give it a quick Google, Putin is still doing it...........and regularly....
13:47 January 18, 2013 by Englishted
@ The-ex-pat

Didn't know but not surprised ,watching a rapid return to totalitarianism in the East .
00:46 January 19, 2013 by soros
A declining population is not necessarily a bad thing. The ecology of a place even the size of Germany can only support a given number of people with all the need for infrastructure, city space, etc, a larger population entails. Wasn't one of the reasons for German expansion into the East during WWII Lebensraum?

Have a look at a map of Germany. Note how many towns there are in every direction. You cant go ten kilometers in the country without running into a human settlement. That doesn't leave much room for Nature.

Germany is overpopulated compared to countries like France. A healthy balance needs to be struck between room to live and population. Less can be better.
Today's headlines
Germany has just ten Ebola beds
Photo: DPA

Germany has just ten Ebola beds

Doctors at high-level infectious disease clinics say that caring for patients with the Ebola virus is much more intensive than they first thought, meaning they can handle fewer cases at once. READ  

Refugee Crisis
Now Berlin turns to tents to house refugees
A refugee protests on the roof of the former Gerhart Hauptmann School in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Now Berlin turns to tents to house refugees

Berlin has turned to huge tents and shipping containers to shelter growing numbers of refugees. With winter approaching, city politicians have called on the federal government for help. READ  

Ludwigshafen explosion kills one, injures 11
An eyewitness captured the moment of the explosion on their phone. Photo: DPA

Ludwigshafen explosion kills one, injures 11

UPDATE: One person has died and at least 11 others are injured after a huge explosion in western Germany on Thursday. READ  

Clueless Merkel forgets the F-word
Merkel suffers from Wortfindungsstörung at the IT summit in Hamburg. Photo: DPA

Clueless Merkel forgets the F-word

Angela Merkel's government is often criticized for its lack of understanding of all things digital and an appearance by the chancellor in Hamburg, which was supposed to change those perceptions, has only made things worse. READ  

Greenpeace finds danger in kids clothes
Photo: DPA

Greenpeace finds danger in kids clothes

Research released on Thursday by environmental group Greenpeace showed that more than half of clothing sold by German discount brands contain chemicals known to be dangerous to health and the environment, with items from Aldi being the worst offenders. READ  

Woman sues for accidental pot raid
Photo: DPA

Woman sues for accidental pot raid

A Bavarian woman is suing police for unlawful search after a reported break-in at her home led authorities to discover 158 cannabis plants in her basement. READ  

Germany lags in permits for non-EU migrants
Photo: DPA

Germany lags in permits for non-EU migrants

Germany gave out fewer residency permits last year per head to non-EU citizens than any other major European economy. READ  

Hamburg volunteers test Ebola vaccine
Hamburg's UKE has helped lead the fight against Ebola. Photo: DPA

Hamburg volunteers test Ebola vaccine

Volunteers have rolled up their sleeves for the first phase of the human trial for an Ebola vaccine at the Hamburg-Eppendorf University Clinic (UKE), it was announced on Wednesday evening. READ  

US adds voice to chorus telling Germany to spend
Jacob Lew and Sigmar Gabriel. Photo: DPA

US adds voice to chorus telling Germany to spend

US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, in a meeting on Wednesday with German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel, called on Germany to boost public spending to stimulate stuttering eurozone growth, the Treasury said. READ  

Man leaps with son, 5, from third-floor window
Schönhauser Allee in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Man leaps with son, 5, from third-floor window

A father and his young son are in serious condition after police and firefighters were called to their home in northeast Berlin early on Wednesday morning. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Gallery
PHOTOS: Huge explosion rocks Ludwigshafen
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
Which high school cliche is your German city?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Storm hits southern Germany
Sponsored Article
An international school unlike any other : School on the Rhine
Photo: Fitzpatrick family
Society
'We still don't know what happened to Matthew'
Photo: Mariana Schroeder
Munich
Special Report: Hope and chaos at Munich's refugee shelters
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Robbers blow up Berlin bank
Photo: DPA
Culture
Can you top our history quiz leaderboard?
Photo: Facebook
Society
German motorcycle gang joins Isis fight
Photo: DPA
Politics
UKIP ‘seeks EU pact’ with German satirical party
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
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

3,523
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd