Increased birth rate among older mothers – Federal Statistical Office

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Press Increased birth rate among older mothers

2,600 more babies than in the previous year – birth rate stable at 1.57 children per woman

Press Release No. 332 as of September 3, 2019

WIESBADEN – In 2018, 787,500 babies were born in Germany. That was around 2,600 more newborns than in the previous year. As reported by the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), the average number of children per woman in 2018 remained at the previous year’s level: the total fertility rate was 1.57 children per woman. In the new Länder (excluding Berlin), it was higher at 1.60 children per woman than in the former federal territory (excluding Berlin) at 1.58. The rising birth rate of women aged 40 and over is noteworthy. Mothers aged 40 and over gave birth to around 42,800 babies in 2018. Although their birth rate was still relatively low at 88 children per 1,000 women, it almost quadrupled in 1990 compared with 23 children per 1,000 women.

The total fertility rate is used to describe the current fertility behaviour. It indicates how many children a woman would have in the course of her life if her birth behaviour were the same as that of all women between the ages of 15 and 49 in the year under consideration.

Lower Saxony and Brandenburg with highest birth rate

In Lower Saxony and Brandenburg, the total fertility rate in 2018 was highest at 1.62 children per woman. With the exception of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, it was also relatively high in the other eastern German states as well as in Bremen and North Rhine-Westphalia with 1.60 children per woman. By contrast, the birth rate was particularly low in Berlin (1.45 children per woman). In Saarland (1.47) and Hamburg (1.49) the birth rate was also significantly lower than in the other Länder.

City states particularly rich in births in terms of number of inhabitants

However, the number of births is not only influenced by birth behaviour, but also by the current age structure of the population. In federal states with a relatively young population, there are more potential parents. Therefore, comparatively more children are born there in relation to the number of inhabitants. In first place in 2018 were the city states of Hamburg with 12 children and Berlin and Bremen with 11 children per 1,000 inhabitants. In the federal states with a relatively old population and fewer potential parents, however, fewer children were born in relation to the number of inhabitants. In the new Länder (except Saxony) and Saarland, only 8 babies were born per 1 000 inhabitants. In Germany as a whole, 9 children were born per 1 000 inhabitants; in the former territory of the Federal Republic (excluding Berlin), 10 children were born.

Live births and total fertility rate 2018 LandL live birthsSummary fertility rate (children per woman)Total per 1 000 inhabitantsGermany787 52391,57Earlier federal territory (excluding Berlin)643 670101,58New Länder (excluding Berlin)103 65081,60Baden-Württemberg108 919101,58Bayern127 616101,55Berlin40 203111,45Brandenburg19 88181,62Bremen7 163111,60Hamburg21 126121,49Hessen61 012101,57Mecklenburg-Vorpommern13 03281,55Lower Saxony73 65291,62North Rhine-Westphalia173 150101,60Rhineland-Palatinate37 64791,59Saarland8 14981,47Saxony35 89091,60Saxony-Anhalt17 41081,61Schleswig-Holstein25 23691,58Thuringia17 43781,60

Further data and long time series on birth statistics (12612) can be found in our database GENESIS-Online.

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Christina Cherry
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