Germany birth rate rises
There were some 715,000 babies born in Germany last year, authorities said Friday, more than any time in the last 12 years.
The latest numbers show an almost 5 percent bump from 2013, with the number of marriages also rising by about 3.3 percent to 386,000.
"It's a lovely sign that more children are being born in Germany," Minister of family affairs Manuela Schwesig said. "We'll have to keep on making efforts to support families properly."
Fears of decline
Germany is home to more people than any other EU country, with the population exceeding 80 million. However, the authorities worry that the aging population could eventually make the the social system in the country unstable.
Even with the latest bump, the birth rate still lags behind the death rate, as it has been doing consistently since 1972.
Officials published the new statistics only days after the Berlin government announced that some 800,000 people would apply for asylum in Germany before the end of the year.
The current wave of immigration could have a significant effect on the population decline, and prove useful for German business owners, who have been struggling with the lack of workers for decades.
dj/kms (dpa, AFP, Reuters)
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