Births Fall in Germany, Meanwhile Migrant Worker Arrivals Continues to Soar

Baby cribs at a maternity ward. Low birth rate and fertility concept.
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Fewer Germans are getting married and having children, but the population continues to soar thanks to immigration and the children of immigrants, a new tranche of government statistics suggests.

Around 693,000 babies were born in Germany — a country of around 84 and a half million people — in 2023, a fall of 6.2 per in a year.

That year was also considerably lower than the one before, having fallen by 7.1 per cent since 2021. In all, the latest figures show births in Germany are at their lowest levels since 2013. In Germany, more people die than are born every year: in 2022, there were 327,000 more deaths than births, for instance.

As reported by German broadsheet Die Welt, as well as total births continuing its freefall dive, the distribution of births is also changing, as fewer women have children at all, but a certain of those that do having more children. This is expressed in the statistics as the number of first-born children to new mothers falling to its lowest levels since 2009, but the number of third or higher children born growing.

This trend is caused by the prevalence of immigrant women in Germany, the report states. A spokesman for the German statistical bureau is quoted by the publication as saying: “Mothers with foreign nationality play an important role in the development of more births of third and subsequent children.”

Germany is not the only country experiencing similar phenomena, and as reported last year the Dutch Central Bureau for Statistics notes the total fertility rate had fallen to 1.49 children per woman, the lowest figure ever. Childlessness was increasing in the general population, it said, but among those women who did decide to become mothers the number of children they had on average was remaining the same.

In the country, between 1990 and 2019 “The share of unintended pregnancies ending in abortion rose from 26% to 41%”.

Total births is not the only trend noted by German government statisticians this week, however, with the state also reporting the number of marriages contracted in the previous 12 months had fallen 7.6 per cent to 361,000 couples. Apart from the Covid lockdown era when getting married was almost impossible anyway, the rate of marriages in 2023 was said to be the lowest in modern German history, with records going back to 1950.

While the number of new families being created naturally in Germany may be rapidly diminishing, the country’s population continues to soar. It increased by 1.1 million in 2022, for instance, and the continued strong growth is caused — by the German statistic office’s own reckoning — by “record net immigration”.

Indeed, as revealed this week the “number of foreign workers from non-EU countries who had a temporary residence permit” had increased by a staggering 19 per cent in a single year. The total of foreign “temporary” — although long German experience has shown in the long term they prove to be anything but temporary — workers has been steadily rising for a decade.

Counted separately from European Union migrants, asylum seekers, and Ukrainian refugees, per the report Indians make up the largest group of new arrivals on that visa programme, followed by Russians and Turks.


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