"Corona baby boom" fails to materialise in Germany
Contrary to expectations, the first five months of 2021 saw only a small increase in the number of people giving birth in Germany.
Corona baby boom never came to pass in Germany
When Germany first went into lockdown a little under 18 months ago, it was suggested that we might soon have a “corona baby boom” on our hands, as couples were able to spend more time together at home. In the past, traumatic events have often been followed by a big upswing in the birth rate - as with the baby boom in the years after the Second World War - and so the suggestion was a relatively logical one.
However, the figures have now made it clear that coronavirus restrictions had hardly any impact on Germany’s birth rate. With a cohort of around 315.000 babies - 154.000 girls and 162.000 boys - the number of births registered between January and May 2021 was only around 1,4 percent higher than in the same period last year, according to the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). Only the month of March 2021 was unusual, with 33.935 births - around 3.700 (6 percent) more than in the same month in 2020.
The births in the first five months of this year were the result of pregnancies that began during the first coronavirus lockdown in the spring of 2020, and into the summer months when restrictions were largely lifted.
COVID measures had no direct impact on family planning
“The corona measures and their relaxation in the first half of 2020 apparently did not have a direct impact on family planning,” said Olga Pötzsch, demography expert at the Federal Statistical Office. “During the first lockdown and also in the summer months, neither significantly more nor significantly fewer children were conceived than in 2019.” The spike in March 2021 can be related to the flattening of the first wave of coronavirus and the corresponding easing of contact restrictions.
The statistics also show how the demographic makeup of parents in Germany changed little compared to the previous year. 32 percent of parents in 2021 were not married, compared to 33 percent in 2020. The proportion of births to mothers with German citizenship rose a little to 77 percent, two percentage points higher than in the same period in 2020.