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European Journal

Belgium: A boon for families

The birth rate in Germany is low, but in neighboring Belgium it’s booming. According to a study by the Max Planck Institute, the Belgian side of the German-Belgian border region has a large number of families with many children.

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But just across the border, the birth rate is stagnating, even though the German side shares many cultural features and enjoys a similar standard of living. The difference is that Belgium set up an affordable, full-time daycare system three decades ago. Many young German families wish they had the same access to daycare, but the public support available to childcare in Germany lags far behind that of its neighbor.