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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

Germans choose not to have babies because they have not found a suitable mother or father for their child rather than due to financial concerns, a government report released on Wednesday suggests.

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.

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The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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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.
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