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Germany sees highest birthrate in decades, still lags behind in Europe

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Germany sees highest birthrate in decades, still lags behind in Europe
Photo: DPA.
11:03 CEST+02:00
The latest government figures reveal that Germany has reached its highest fertility rate since the country came back together at the end of the Cold War in 1990. But the Bundesrepublik still lags behind much of Europe.

Germany’s average birthrate in 2015 was 1.5 children per woman, according to figures released on Monday by the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). That’s the highest level since reunification in 1990 after the country was divided throughout the Cold War.

But it also means that Germany still lags behind the European Union average of 1.58 children per woman.

France is at the top of the charts at nearly two children per woman (1.96), followed by Ireland (1.92), Sweden (1.85), the United Kingdom (1.80) and Denmark (1.71). Portugal is at the very bottom with 1.31 children per woman.

Germany has struggled with low birth rates and comparatively higher death rates in recent years, leading Destatis to warn of a population decline of up to 10 million fewer people in the country by 2060. Destatis predicted in 2015 that in the short-term, the population would increase over five to seven years with immigration, but in the long-term it would decline again.

Due to record immigration numbers over the past two years, including more than one million asylum seekers, the country hit a record high in its population size of 82.8 million last year.

But even with high numbers of new immigrants, the labour force is expected to begin falling in 2025 in part due to the large number of baby boomers going into retirement, according to the German central bank (Bundesbank).

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