Dhe birth rate in Germany has fallen significantly since the beginning of the year. While the value fluctuated between 1.5 and 1.6 children per woman from 2015 to 2021, it fell to 1.3 to 1.4 at the beginning of the year, according to a study carried out by the Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB) in Germany Wiesbaden published on Tuesday. This corresponds to a decrease of more than ten percent compared to the years before the pandemic.
According to the study, a major reason for the decline is that women initially put off their desire to have children when the corona vaccination campaign started in spring 2021: "It is plausible that some women wanted to be vaccinated before they became pregnant," said Martin Bujard , Research Director at the BiB. "Since the vaccination was initially not recommended for pregnant women, the desire to have children was often postponed."
In May 2022, according to the information, there were signs of a slight recovery in the birth rate. It climbed to 1.48, which could indicate an end to this delay. The development of births in the coming months is still unclear, said Bujard.
Germany is not alone with the severe slump. A decline also took place in Scandinavia over the same period, as the international study shows. In Sweden, for example, the birth rate fell from around 1.7 (2021) to 1.5 to 1.6. "The corona pandemic has also had a significant impact on short-term birth behavior in other European countries," Bujard summarized the results.
The researcher explained that a clear temporal parallel can be seen between the start of the vaccination campaign and the decline in the birth rate nine months later. In the past 30 years - apart from seasonal influences - no such slump in the numbers is recognizable.