Germany records lowest number of babies born in a decade

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Germany records lowest number of babies born in a decade
A newborn baby in Schleswig-Holstein. Photo: dpa | Fabian Strauch

Germany has recorded its lowest birth rate in a decade, with big regional differences, according to new figures from the Federal Statistical Office


Last year a total of 738,819 newborns were counted, 56,673 (or seven percent) fewer than the previous year, according to the Federal Statistical Office. 

In 2021, the highest birth rate since 1997 was registered with 795,492 babies, a phenomenon which many in Germany dubbed “corona babies” since they were conceived and born amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

READ ALSO: How Germany’s population is changing during the pandemic

Birth rates below the maintenance level

In 2022, women in Germany between gave birth to 1.46 children, a decline of eight percent - and the lowest level since 2013. In 2021, the birth rate had risen significantly to 1.58 children per woman. 

In order for the population of a country - without immigration - not to shrink in developed countries, about 2.1 children per woman would have to be born, according to the Statistical Office. However, the population of Germany surged to 84.3 million people last year amid record migration.

READ ALSO: Why is the population of Europe set to shrink?

Regional differences

The birth rate fell in all of Germany’s 16 states but “particularly sharply in Hamburg and Berlin," wrote the Statistical Office, or by ten percent in each case. 

The decline was weakest in the northern city-state of Bremen, at four percent. Women in western Rhineland-Palatinate and central Lower Saxony logged the highest birth rates with 1.52 children on average.

As has been the case since 2017, the birth rate for women in Berlin stood at the lowest, at 1.25 children. 

In western Germany, the birth rate fell from 1.60 to 1.48 compared to the previous year, and in the eastern German states from 1.54 to 1.43 children.


Among women with foreign citizenship, the birth rate in 2022 fell by only six percent to 1.88 children, down from 2.01 in 2021. 

Lower ages at birth

The average age of mothers at the birth of their first child in 2022 was 30.4 years, slightly lower than in the previous year, with an average of 30.5 years.

The average age of fathers at the birth of their first child remained unchanged at 33.3 years.

Regardless of whether it was the first or another child, mothers were on average 31.7 years-old and fathers 34.7 years-old when their child was born.

The Statistical Office data looked at all women in Germany between the ages of 15 and 49.


birth rate - (die) Geburtenziffer

immigration - (die) Zuwanderung

to shrink - schrumpfen

on average - im Durchschnitt

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