Germany’s birthrate keeps falling despite incentives
The number of births in Germany fell to a postwar low last year, despite government incentives meant to reverse a population decline, and analysts blamed a lack of sufficient child-care support.
A third of all babies born in Germany, still the EU’s most populous member state, came from immigrant families, the analysts said.
The preliminary data released by the Federal Statistics Office yesterday showed 663,000 children were born in 2011, down from 678,000 in 2010.
“As in every year since 1972, the number of people who died was greater than the number of children born,” the report said.
Demography experts have forecast that Germany’s population could shrink to about 50 million by 2050, based on current trends, and say France and Britain could overtake it.
Michaela Kreyenfeld, from the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, attributed Germany’s declining birthrate to conservative attitudes towards child care and the role of the mother.
“Everyone expects a mother to stay at home,” she said.
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