Birth rates have suddenly decreased in Germany
After remaining steady throughout the early months of the coronavirus pandemic, the curve of Germany’s birth rate has recently had a sharp fall.
International study reveals German birth rate is falling
An international study published on Tuesday by the German Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB) and Stockholm University has recorded a sudden decrease in the federal republic's birth rate since the beginning of 2022. The study presents the total fertility rate (TFR) based on monthly birth statistics adjusted per season.
Between 2015 and 2021 the German TFR was between 1,5 and 1,6 children per woman. At the beginning of 2022, the rate sank to between 1,3 and 1,4 and then stagnated for next four months. This resulted in a massive TFR drop in Germany of more than 10 percent compared with the years before the coronavirus pandemic. In many European countries the fertility rate dropped at the beginning of the pandemic, whereas in Germany it initially remained constant and even increased slightly.
What could be the cause of the birthrate turnaround?
The BiB and Stockholm University study suggests that the possible cause of this change could be that at the beginning of the spring 2021 coronavirus vaccination campaign people delayed their plans to start a family. “It’s possible that many women wanted to get vaccinated before they got pregnant," said Martin Bujard, research director at the BiB. “Because the vaccinations weren’t recommended for pregnant people, plans to have children would have often been delayed."
In May 2022 the German birth rate seemed to be recovering from its decline, but what will happen in the coming months is yet to become clear. Germany is not alone in its dwindling baby population as birth rates in Scandinavian countries, which often have high fertility rates, also fell in the first half of 2022.