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Births hit record low

The Local · 12 Nov 2010, 13:13

Published: 12 Nov 2010 13:13 GMT+01:00

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There were 665,126 babies born in Germany last year, by far the lowest since records began in 1946, Germany's statistics office said. Twice as many babies were born in 1964, at the height of the baby boom.

Births per woman also dropped in 2009 to 1.36, down from 1.38 in 2008. The statistics office said one of the reasons was that women of child-bearing age (between 15 and 49) had declined.

Germany's population of just over 80 million is shrinking rapidly, figures show. Last year, statistics showed it could be home to as many as 17 million fewer people in 50 years time.

Like other advanced economies, Germany is facing a snowballing population crisis, leaving the country short of workers and adding to the strain on already stretched public coffers.

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Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is childless, has introduced a raft of measures aimed at boosting the birth rate, including generous parental leave allowances and increasing the number of kindergarten place.

AFP/The Local/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

14:02 November 12, 2010 by Uncle Jamal
More elterngeld on the way?
14:07 November 12, 2010 by ado1000
Haha, I love how the response is always to throw money at the problem?

When will they start to look at why many Germans have trouble getting into relationships. If the country wants more children and is facing a population crisis, they have to start looking at the whole picture!
14:21 November 12, 2010 by cklb
Yup, throwing money seemst to be the best solution. Especially for our infamous chancellor, since she is the best example that career and childs don't go together very well. But even so women now got the right to do whatever they want, they don't seem to have the rationality that they have to step back a bit in order to uphold the birth rates....
14:38 November 12, 2010 by HollyMacarony
It is just natures way of stabilizing human population... human societies used to focus on quantity, now they focus on the quality. It is not only the problem in Germany but in all industrialized countries.

And when third world countries develop and increase their standards of living their fertility rates will drop also. And many of them are already going through this process.

You simply cant have strong economies, high standards of living, and at the same time have the situation where average family has 4-5 children. One has to go...
15:35 November 12, 2010 by Deutschguy
"they don't seem to have the rationality that they have to step back a bit in order to uphold the birth rates...."

It is rational. Stop punishing women economically for having children and they will have more of them.

@ado1000 - "why many Germans have trouble getting into relationships."

What does this mean, or what do you think the problem is?
16:18 November 12, 2010 by toemag
They won't need to spend as much on education in the future if this continues.
16:49 November 12, 2010 by resaleh
Lets talk about solution:

1. More income TAX for no child.

2. Less income TAX , for more than 2 Kids.
17:03 November 12, 2010 by maxbrando
So, let's bring in the gypsies and more muslims. Their birth rates are much higher than the German average.
19:03 November 12, 2010 by aslanleon
In America, the Amish German population has doubled every sixteen years for the last century. In a hundred years, it has gone from roughly 2,000 to just under a quarter million without conversions. If you include people like myself descended from Amish forebears but of another religion, the number is twice or more as large.

If Germany falls short of hard working, conscientious Germans, I am sure the land-hungry Amish farmers would be more than willing to return to the Heimat, provided the well known government disposition for meddling in their religion would be abandoned. We would appreciate it, since given the falling American birthrate, it will be only a matter of a few hundred years before most Americans are Amish.
19:05 November 12, 2010 by Englishted
"short of workers " short of proper work more like 400euro jobs or time-firms are all the jobs in my local paper and job centres.

Just propogander to let Turkey join the E.U. and flood Europe with cheap labour again (the expantion East for example).
19:15 November 12, 2010 by Gretl
Deutschguy - you are absolutely right. There needs to be more full-time childcare available, with 9-10 hours of daily coverage, not the limited coverage of Kindergarten now. There also needs to be after-school programs (with a hot-meal?) to enable women to work fulltime. I have watched my co-workers struggle with working part-time, random school hours, tweeners needing a ride and feeding after school, all the while they watched me with my kids in American (base) schools and American (base) after-school care. In order to increase the birth rate, Germany needs to not make it a choice between children and work. A woman needs to be able to choose children and work.
19:45 November 12, 2010 by Icarusty
Why is this seen as a bad thing? We have seen what overpopulation does, more wars, consumption, energy shortages etc... it is a sign of a developed country that has a decreasing population, for it means it is self sustaining and not overconsuming. China (not a great example, but the most obvious) has HAD to depopulate their country due to food shortages, and the decades since that one child policy they've lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty. Not perfect, but a vast improvement.
19:48 November 12, 2010 by Englishted
resaleh, the problem with you idea is who do you know with 3 or more children? I would say only high earners or people who are living on social welfare that is not helped by cutting tax. More problems are coming now people have less job security and must have two wage earners to buy a home.I have not had a pay rise in the last ten years and I bet I'm not alone.
20:10 November 12, 2010 by aslanleon
The problem with depopulation is that you experience an enormous surplus of elderly people with no living relatives to care for them and no tax payers to support their benefits and pensions. At a birthrate of 1.36, Germany can breed itself into a population of about a dozen, all dependent on government handouts in a few hundred years.
22:20 November 12, 2010 by ushany.jasmin.balder
seriously, merkel has no kids?
23:23 November 12, 2010 by nightwish
Here in Britain we are seriously over populated by about 15 million.With millions unemployed in Britain maybe a deal could be done between Germany and Britain whereby several million of us Brits could be intigrated into Germanys society.
02:02 November 13, 2010 by Ich
Let's not lose the big picture-the world is getting over populated, resources are dminishing, and a high standard of living can be had with modern technology by a few, only if there are only a few. The present dilemma is really just a failure in the socialist system, whereby the present generation of workers pays all the bill, rather than an account for themselves, sort of thing.It looks like the WW2 generation got a nice ride on the baby boomers, who should have been salting away their (our) own retiremet. I don't know what the answer is, but more people on a tiny planet, we do not need.
09:26 November 13, 2010 by ErnestPayne
Does anyone know of a source for statistics on births by "non germans" in Germany. It would be interesting to follow the demographics of their statistics given the apparently non "warm welcome" they receive.
12:10 November 13, 2010 by amperrymd
The modern secular European society in which everything is focused on self-gratification will not survive. Having children is a necessarily selfless act with tremendous gratification, but of a non-material nature. Childlessness is not a function of wealth since wealthy families who maintain religious faith have larger families. More government benefits is not the answer.
12:11 November 13, 2010 by AyaMatsuura
Definitely make it easier to have children and a career. Longer day care hours and after school care would help. Do schools provide transportation to day care for younger children? I know many in the U.S do.

When I was in elementary school there was a latch key program. I think it lasted until around 5 or 6. Kids played and had a snack and you could get your homework and things done. Parents didn't have to worry about what to do with their kids after school and it lasted till most got off work.
17:19 November 13, 2010 by mrgalak
In the Netherlands, all schools (primary and secondary) have classes until 15.00. Furthermore, each school is obliged to provide after school care for all pupils that require it. Usually, an agreement is made with an external after school care provider.

Anyone surprised that the birth rate in the Netherlands is way higher than here? I have the impression that Germany is on its way to oblivion.
20:57 November 13, 2010 by WAKeele
Just let it decline!
12:41 November 14, 2010 by storymann
Lets raise the Kinder Geld .
16:01 November 14, 2010 by antrodemus

If the American Amish returned to Germany, they would be branded a 'parallel society' and forced to embrace the 'Leitkultur'. Their children would be forced to attend state sponsored schools, and parents who refused would be fined. I don't think they'd like modern Germany any more than they liked Germany three centuries ago.
10:01 November 15, 2010 by moistvelvet
Why is the emphasis on women, men play a part in bringing up children too, so it shouldn't just be about better protection/incentives for mothers.

One of the problems I see is that many people don't want to accept the cost of bringing up a child, i.e. they would like to have children but don't want to give up their lifestyle, their free time/social life. Using money as reason for not having children is disguising the reality that their ultimate priority is having money, not children.

Of the 665,126 babies born last year I wonder how many of them were actually German, take away those born from immigrant/non-Geram parents then the number might be much lower.
10:21 November 15, 2010 by resaleh
""17:03 November 12, 2010 by maxbrando

So, let's bring in the gypsies and more muslims. Their birth rates are much higher than the German average. """

Dear MAXBRANDO, Please read the comment carefully. I said to increase the income tax. That means, your Gipsy brother or muslim brother will be benifited if they are working. I see nothing wrong in that. By they way, to my finding i have seen many parents in EEE engineering company not willing to take more baby for financial reasons.
11:06 November 15, 2010 by siastar75

There is 9 hour care available. I live in a small village in the Rheinland Pfalz and the kindergarten provides care from 730 - 1630 for working parents. I have experienced both American base daycare and German daycare/kindergarten and IMO, German is far superior and much less expensive. While the hours for care are longer on base that is the ONLY advantage. I pay in a month what I would be paying for a week at a base daycare and my children who are 5 and 4 are learning so much, including German, at their school. There is also the Tagesmutter option for those needing extended care. We have one in my small village also and she picks up the children who need extended care when the kindergarten closes. I think the US makes it much more difficult to have children honestly. US Daycare is incredibly expensive and our maternal and paternal leave is minimal (6-8 weeks paid leave at 60% with the option of another 4-6 unpaid- That is insane!)
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