Germany's fertility highest since reunification - but world's lowest
Germany's fertility rate rose in 2014 to the highest level since reunification in 1990 but it remains among world's lowest according to a report Wednesday from Destatis, the federal statistics office.
Destatis said that the total fertility rate in Germany amounted to 1.47 children per woman in 2014. The fertility rate increased for the third time in a row. In 2013, it amounted to just under 1.42. Hence 56 more babies were born per 1,000 women in 2014 compared with a year earlier. The stable population birth rate is about 2.1.
Women holding German citizenship gave birth to an average of 1.42 children per woman in 2014, while the relevant number amounted to 1.37 in 2013. The fertility rate among women holding foreign citizenship was also higher (1.86 children per woman) than in the previous year (1.80).
The average age of child-bearing woman also rose last year. In 2014, the average mother of a first-born child was 29.5 years old, two months older than the previous period.
Germany is home to more people than any other EU country, with the population exceeding 80m. However, the authorities worry that the aging population could eventually make the social system in the country unstable.
The birth rate still lags behind the death rate as it has consistently since 1972.
In Germany, an average of 8.2 children were born per 1,000 inhabitants over the five years through 2013, according to a study published last May by the Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI) with BDO, the German accounting firm.
The study says Japan had 8.4 children born per 1,000 inhabitants over the same time period.
In Europe, Portugal and Italy came in second and third with an average of 9.0 and 9.3 children, respectively. France and the UK both had an average of 12.7 births per 1,000 inhabitants.
Meanwhile, the highest birth rates were in Africa, with Niger at the top of the list with 50 births per 1,000 people.
What is termed the crude death rate in Germany in 2013 was 11 per 1,000.
Last year, this demographic dip was offset by record immigration - Germany's net migration was an increase of roughly 400,000 people [1.2m in, 800,000 out].
About 1m mainly refugees have arrived in Germany in 2015.
Despite immigration, the population is set to decline from a 2002 peak of 82m to 74.5m by 2050, according to the UN. The percentage of Germans under 15 is forecast to fall to 13%, among the world’s lowest. The share of those over 60 is expected to rise from 27% to 39%.
Last year, this demographic dip was canceled out by record immigration - Germany's net migration was an increase of roughly 400,000 people [1.2m in, 800,000 out]. But a lot of factors - not least recession in the Eurozone and conflict in the Arab World - combined to bring this about. Presumably, these immigration rates are not likely to stay this high in the long term?
According to Eurostat, across the EU member states, the highest share of young people in the total population in 2014 was observed in Ireland (22.0 %), while the lowest share was recorded in Germany (13.1%). Regarding the share of persons aged 65 or older in the total population, Italy (21.4%) and Germany (20.8%), while Ireland had the lowest proportion (12.6%).
Pic above: Neuschwanstein Castle is a nineteenth-century Romanesque Revival palace on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen in southwest Bavaria, Germany. Source: Pixabay