Marriage rates in Germany reach all-time lows while birth rate soars
2021 was a year characterised by the coronavirus pandemic, with lockdowns and social distancing rules greatly restricting public life. This is reflected in new figures that show that the number of marriages plummeted in 2021.
Number of people getting married in Germany continues to fall
The German Statistical Office (Destatis) has revealed that the number of weddings in Germany continued to fall in 2021. The number of marriages in Germany fell by around 10 percent in 2020 and, in 2021, the number of couples tying the knot fell by a further 4,2 percent to just 357.800. The only time fewer marriages were registered in the federal republic was during the First World War.
Of the 357.800 marriages that did take place last year, 349.000 of them were between a man and a woman. The remaining 8.800 were same-sex marriages, with around 1.000 of these being a conversion of an existing civil partnership into a marriage.
Regionally, the number of marriages fell more significantly in the east of Germany, with a drop of 8,6 percent. On the other hand, in the west of the country, the number of marriages only dropped by 3,5 percent. Destatis suggested this might be due to the number of people around the age of 30 decreasing in the eastern states, since marriage rates are at their highest around this age.
Birth rate in Germany skyrockets
At the same time, the birth rate in Germany rose to its highest level since 1997. Preliminary data suggests that around 795.500 children were born in 2021, which is an increase of 2 percent, compared to the average birth rate between 2018 and 2020. On a monthly basis, February, March, October and November registered above-average birth rates, whilst May, June and July were slightly below. There was also a 3,9 percent increase in births of third children.
Here too, there were regional differences. In western Germany, the number of births rose by 3,3 percent, compared to the average birth rate between 2018 and 2020. In eastern Germany, the birth rate actually declined by 5,1 percent compared with the previous average.