In February, Germany recorded a 6% increase in births. The statistics office reported that the number of births in March reached 65,903, an increase of 5,900 from the previous year, and the number of births exceeded 65,000 for the first time since 1998.
The increase came nine months after the first wave of the Corona virus began to decline in Germany (May 2020) as the first restrictions on the epidemic were eased.
The statistics office reported that birth rates also stabilized in countries such as Spain, France and Belgium, which were hit hard by the first wave of the coronavirus. In March, they also jumped in other European countries, mainly in the East.
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In many countries, the birth rate fell during the Covid-19 crisis: the birth rate in China fell last year. By 18%, reaching its lowest level since 1961, and births in the United States fell by 4%, reaching its lowest level since 1979.
In Germany, the number of births in 2020 decreased by 0.6%. And it held steady in January of this year, suggesting that the first coronavirus lockdown had little effect on decisions about offspring. Population experts attribute the German exception to family-friendly policies and increased immigration, as well as speed in assuring people that the state will pay them if they cannot work during the lockdown.
According to Reuters, Europe’s largest German economy had one of the lowest fertility rates in the region. This has been changing since 2005, when Chancellor Angela Merkel expanded parental benefits and state investments in childcare. Its decision in 2015 to accept more than a million refugees from Syria and other countries gave another impetus.
The latest data shows that the fertility rate has fallen to 1.41. That is, out of 100 women of childbearing age, there were 141 children. Demographers have no doubts – it can be said to replace generations when the ratio reaches 2.10 – 2.15.
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