Fewer births, deaths and marriages in Germany in 2019

Fewer births, deaths and marriages in Germany in 2019

The German population may have reached a record high in 2019, but the country’s birth rate is still sluggish. In 2019 there were significantly more deaths than births in Germany. After reaching a peak in 2018, the total number of marriages also went down. 

Fewer babies born in Germany in 2019

In 2019, a total of 778.100 babies were born in Germany - approximately 9.400 fewer than in the previous year. The new figures were shared on Monday by the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). The data comes from registry offices across Germany (Standesämter), where people go to register births, deaths and marriages. 

If the total number of births is related to the population of Germany as a whole, last year 9,4 babies were born for every 1.000 residents. In the previous year, this ratio stood a little higher at 9,5 babies per 1.000 inhabitants. The average for the EU is 9,3.

Number of deaths declined, but birth deficit remains

At the same time, there were 939.500 deaths in 2019, meaning that 161.400 more people died than children were born - and thus continuing a long-term demographic trend that has persisted since 1972. In 2018, however, the birth deficit was slightly higher, at 167.400. Only in Berlin and Hamburg were more births than deaths recorded. 

The overall number of deaths declined by 1,6 percent in 2019 compared to 2018, when a particularly severe bout of flu, among other things, brought on a higher-than-average number of deaths (954.900). Germany’s 2019 death rate of 11,3 per 1.000 inhabitants is above the EU average of 10,4. 

Number of marriages in Germany drops after 2018 peak

The number of marriages also decreased in 2019, with a total of 416.300 marriages registered. 402.300 of these marriages saw the union of a man and a woman, while around 14.000 same-sex couples said, “I do.”

The total number of marriages therefore fell by 7,4 percent compared to 2018, when 449.500 couples tied the knot. This surge in 2018 was partly the result of the introduction of the “Marriage for All” act in October 2017, which extended marriage rights to same-sex couples and made registered partnerships obsolete for both heterosexual and same-sex couples. 

2017 and 2018 therefore saw a spike in the number of marriages, as same-sex couples either took advantage of their new right to marry, or converted their civil partnership into a marriage.

Love must have been in the air in 2018, because the number of marriages between men and women also increased to the highest level since 2001. It then decreased by 3,4 percent in 2019, while the number of same-sex marriages decreased by around a third. 



Abi Carter

Managing Editor at IamExpat Media. Abi studied German and History at the University of Manchester and has since lived in Berlin, Hamburg and Utrecht, working since 2017 as a writer,...

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