The number of children born in Germany hit a record low in 2009, official statistics showed on Friday, as Europe's top economy faces a demographic crisis with a plunging birth rate.
There are fewer and fewer babies in Germany
There were just over 665,000 babies born in Germany last year, by far the lowest since records began in 1946, Germany's statistics office said on Friday.
There were twice as many babies were born in 1964, at the height of the baby boom. Births per woman also dropped in 2009 to 1.36, down from 1.38 in 2008.
The statistics office said one of the reasons was that the amount of German women of child-bearing age (between 15 and 49) had declined.
The population of Germany is shrinking rapidly, according to recent figures. Last year, statistics showed it could be home to as many as 17 million fewer people in 50 years time.
Like other advanced economies, Germany is facing a snowballing population crisis, leaving the country short of workers and adding to the strain on already stretched public coffers.
Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is childless, has introduced a raft of measures aimed at boosting the birth rate, including generous parental leave allowances.
Author: Gabriel Borrud (AFP, dpa)
Editor: Rob Turner