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Immigration compensated for fewer babies, helped Germany increase population

Thursday, July 26th 2012 - 09:07 UTC
Full article 14 comments
Babies born in 2011 sank to a record low Babies born in 2011 sank to a record low

The number of babies born in Germany sank to a record low in 2011, official statistics showed Monday, but a surge in immigration to Europe's top economy led its population to grow.

Last year around 663,000 children were born in Germany, down 2.2% from 2010, according to preliminary data released by the federal statistics office Destatis.

It was the lowest number recorded in Germany since 1946 and around half as many babies as were born in West and East Germany in 1964, at the height of the post-war baby boom.

In 2011 around 852,000 people died in Germany, 0.7% fewer than the previous year.

“As in all years since 1972, more people died than children were born,” Destatis said in a statement. “In 2011 the difference reached about 190,000 in 2010 and 181,000 in 2010.”

However Destatis expert Reinhold Zahn told local news agency DPA that the number of people in Germany nevertheless rose last year as about 279,000 more people moved to the country as left it -- the highest number in a decade.

The strong influx, driven in part by Germany's status as a refuge from the debt crisis engulfing stricken countries, led the country's population to rise by nearly 100,000 people.

However the long-term trend points to the German population shrinking, figures show. It has around 82 million today but statistics indicate 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.

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

Categories: Politics, International.

Top Comments

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  • British_Kirchnerist

    Unless we start producing babies again and fast, we really need immigration as the anti-immigrant policies of the right would also lead to our pensioners having no-one to look after them and keep the economy going to pay their pensions

    Jul 26th, 2012 - 09:41 am 0
  • Forgetit87

    For all of the European populist talk that immigration is enabled by First World political correctness, by left-wing multiculturalism, or by an abused asylum system, the fact is that European governments, including right-wing ones, quietly lure immigrants due to negative demographic trends among native Europeans. Europeans are old and don't have enough children. If left on their own, they would as a result have much smaller job markets and a swollen proportion of retirees: in other words, fiscal and pension crises to add to their current woes.

    Jul 26th, 2012 - 10:42 am 0
  • Conor

    Or maybe they come here for a superior quality of life then shitty Argentina? Any way what do you care Mr Racist, pathetic Dick ? Haven't had that apology yet.

    Jul 26th, 2012 - 06:16 pm 0
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