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Available Housing Has an Impact on Birth Rates

Press Release – 25 September 2017

There are considerable regional differences regarding the final number of children per woman within Germany. This is the result of a new study by the Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB), which calculated the actual number of children (cohort fertility) of women born between 1969 and 1972 at district level.

According to this study, women living in the Emsland region, in the Eastern part of Baden-Württemberg between Tauberkreis and Allgäu, as well as in the border area between Middle Franconia and Upper Bavaria, have born on average more than 1.7 children. Cohort fertility is also well above the average of 1.50 children per woman in parts of Eastern Bavaria and the Lausitz region as well as in the Northern part of the Black Forest. On the other hand, some urban agglomerations show the lowest fertility rates. Thus, on average, women in the cities of Passau (1.05), Kiel and Gera (1.11 each) have given birth to the smallest number of children.

There are a number of reasons for the regionally differing figures, which partly overlap and intensify. For instance, the final number of children is especially high in regions that have low unemployment, are predominantly Catholic and show a surplus of men. Apart from this, considerable differences in the settlement structure can be observed. “The availability of adequate and affordable housing is of particular importance, especially when it comes to the decision to have a third child", explains Dr. Martin Bujard, political scientist from the BiB. At the same time, the living environment with a child-friendly surrounding also plays an important part.

The picture shows a table which illustrates the highest and lowest values of the final average number of children in the German counties. Final Average Number of Children by District

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© Federal Institute for Population Research - 2017