German birth rate drops to lowest level since 2009

German birth rate drops to lowest level since 2009

Germany’s birth rate has seen a sharp decrease in recent years. Experts cite converging crises as the main reason behind the trend but are unsure if the decline will continue.

Birth rate in Germany sees sharp decline

Germany’s Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB) has reported that the number of live births in Germany fell significantly in 2023.

In autumn last year, the birth rate sat at 1,36 children per birth parent, a low not seen since 2009. This is down from 1,57 in 2021, meaning that Germany saw an unusually swift birth rate decrease between 2021 and 2023. Statistically, the birth rate in any country has to be just above 2 to keep population figures steady.

Coronavirus, Ukraine war and climate crisis are all contributing factors

Researchers at the BiB cited converging crises in Europe and across the world as contributors to the birth rate decline in Germany. These include coronavirus, the climate crisis, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its knock-on economic effects.

When it comes to coronavirus, experts believe that many would-be parents in Germany delayed having children since, in the earlier stages of the pandemic, it was not recommended to get vaccinated while pregnant. Now, the German government advises that vaccination against coronavirus is safe so long as the pregnancy is into the second trimester.

In the brief period during mid-2022, when coronavirus measures had been eased and inflation rises were yet to kick in, Germany’s birth rate did slightly recover, before falling again as the cost of living shot up.

Researchers at the BiB concluded that it was not possible to tell whether the birthrate decline trend would continue in the coming years. If it does, the trend could make Germany’s current record-high worker shortage into an even more persistent problem than it already is.

Thumb image credit: LittleDogKorat /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan

Editor for Germany at IamExpat Media. Olivia first came to Germany in 2013 to work as an Au Pair. Since studying English Literature and German in Scotland, Freiburg and Berlin...

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