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Loki
Friday, January 27th, 2006, 08:11 AM
· Highest number in world choose not to have family
· Minister highlights the threat of low birthrate

Luke Harding in Berlin
Friday January 27, 2006
The Guardian (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.guar dian.co.uk%2F)

http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2006/01/26/germany372ready.jpg

Ursula von der Leyen with her children. She wants fathers to help more with childcare. Photograph: Jochen Luebke/AFP


Germany was plunged into an anguished debate yesterday about how to encourage reluctant couples to breed after new figures showed Germany with the world's highest proportion of childless women. Thirty per cent of German women have not had children, according to European Union statistics from 2005, with the figure rising among female graduates to 40%. Germany's new family minister, Ursula von der Leyen, said that unless the birth rate picked up the country would have to "turn the light out".

Ms von der Leyen, a mother of seven and an ally of Germany's chancellor, Angela Merkel, told Stern magazine yesterday that not only women but also "deeply uncertain" men were to blame. "They are unsure about the role of fatherhood," she said. Last month Ms von der Leyen tabled a series of radical proposals, including requiring men to take two months off work to look after a newborn child if they wished to qualify fully for state-funded child welfare support. The scheme would offer parents 67% of their previous incomes while staying at home. It would be limited to a year, up to a monthly maximum of €1,800 (Ģ1,234). Working parents would also be able to offset €3,000 a year of childcare costs against tax, encouraging women to have more children. The proposals are based on schemes in Scandinavia, where birth rates are higher than in Germany.

However, her proposals have met resistance. Several male politicians in her own Christian Democrat party have derided the idea of men abandoning work to change nappies. The Social Democrats, junior partners in Germany's coalition government, have also expressed unease, not least because the themes of childcare and women's rights traditionally belonged to the left. "Compulsory paid leave for fathers is a good idea," Professor Norbert Schneider, a sociologist at Mainz University, told the Guardian. "Germany now has the highest number of childless women in the world. This trend has been going on since at least the 90s. What we also know is that the higher the level of education, the more likely a woman is to remain childless."

Prof Schneider said several factors were to blame for Germany's low birth rate, including inadequate childcare provision, a school day that ends at 1pm, and old-fashioned attitudes among employers. By the time they had finished university, and found a good job, many German women were already in their mid-30s, he said. "We have a situation where if a woman wants to take time off to have children, that's accepted. But if a man asks his firm if he can go on leave to look after a child his career is finished. It's taboo. This isn't just a woman's problem - it's a man's problem."

He added: "The classical family picture is still very much alive in Germany. Women are expected to look after the children while men go out and work." The latest figures are taken from a study of women born in the 1960s. Overall, Germany's birth rate is one of the lowest in Europe with an average of 1.37 children per woman, compared with 1.75 in Sweden and 1.74 in the UK. German mothers are also the oldest - with an average age of 30 for a first child - and most parents opt for only one or two children. Yesterday Ms von der Leyen said she had been taken aback by some hostile responses to her proposal that men should take two months off work. One male television presenter demanded to know whether she wanted to whip men back into their homes. "It shows the deep contempt with which raising children is regarded," she said, adding that another difficulty was that some women were unable to find a suitable man.
Ms von der Leyen has attracted media flak for working in Berlin while her husband and seven children remain in Hannover. However, she told Stern: "I'm astonished that women still have to justify themselves when they want to work. No father has to do this."


Birth rates

In Europe 2.1 is considered to be the population replacement level. This table shows the mean number of children per woman (2004 figures)

Ireland 1.99
France 1.90
Norway 1.81
Sweden 1.75
UK 1.74
Netherlands 1.73
Germany 1.37
Italy 1.33
Spain 1.32
Greece 1.29
Source: Eurostat

www.europa.eu.int/comm/eurostat/ (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.euro pa.eu.int%2Fcomm%2Feurostat%2F)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/germany/article/0,,1695850,00.html (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.guar dian.co.uk%2Fgermany%2Farticle%2F0%2C%2C 1695850%2C00.html)

anonymaus
Friday, January 27th, 2006, 08:58 AM
France's figures are likely inflated artificialls by high muslim birthrates. Sweden, too, is likely affected by this.

What I get from this article is that, in spite of the problems, there is still much strength left in Germany--in German society. There is enough strength, at least, to discuss what the problem is, how to fix it and how to create a German solution to the problem instead of importing their solutions entirely from third world hellholes.

Japan still has the same kind of thinking going for them, too. Strange days we live in, where what is natural is under attack; what is normal should be correct by default. I sincerely hope that a functioning Made In Germany solution happens, and soon.. the temptation of crushing mass-immigration is too great.

ikki
Friday, January 27th, 2006, 09:36 AM
Just that the 30-year rule hasnt gone anywhere.
If reproduction remains low for 30 years straight, then that is what the future population basis will be.

Which means that the population will begin a halving cycle, that needs more than a doubling of reproductive rates to begin recovering. 5 kids for each woman to get back where we are now for the next generation.

Thruthheim
Friday, January 27th, 2006, 09:49 AM
France's figures are likely inflated artificialls by high muslim birthrates. Sweden, too, is likely affected by this.

What I get from this article is that, in spite of the problems, there is still much strength left in Germany--in German society. There is enough strength, at least, to discuss what the problem is, how to fix it and how to create a German solution to the problem instead of importing their solutions entirely from third world hellholes.

Japan still has the same kind of thinking going for them, too. Strange days we live in, where what is natural is under attack; what is normal should be correct by default. I sincerely hope that a functioning Made In Germany solution happens, and soon.. the temptation of crushing mass-immigration is too great.

Wherever the Muslims are, they will have larger families, therefore all the countries with significant muslim populations will have an effect from their birthrate, not just France and Sweden.

Zyklop
Friday, January 27th, 2006, 09:58 AM
Germany is strongly overpopulated, even without all the immigrants. So a lower birthrate is not neccessarily bad. Nationalism isnīt about sheer numbers but about the quality of the people.

Anyway, Germany still is a very wealthy country with one of the best social systems in the world. The low birth rates canīt be blamed on financial issues. Itīs the boundless liberalism and hedonism that keeps people from creating families.

Thruthheim
Friday, January 27th, 2006, 10:08 AM
Germany is strongly overpopulated, even without all the immigrants. So a lower birthrate is not neccessarily bad. Nationalism isnīt about sheer numbers but about the quality of the people.

Anyway, Germany still is a very wealthy country with one of the best social systems in the world. The low birth rates canīt be blamed on financial issues. Itīs the boundless liberalism and hedonism that keeps people from creating families.

But what it must mean is you have an ageing population, Who then is to prop up the forthcoming to be elderly generations, if there isn't enough Offspring had now?

A low birthrate is also another reason the capitalists and marxists can appeal for more immigration from 3rd world nations.

Siegfried
Friday, January 27th, 2006, 10:08 AM
The low birth rates canīt be blamed on financial issues. Itīs the boundless liberalism and hedonism that keeps people from creating families.

I agree. It's even my experience that people from lower socioeconomic classes tend to have more children than those with a higher income.

Lissu
Friday, January 27th, 2006, 10:29 AM
In Europe 2.1 is considered to be the population replacement level. This table shows the mean number of children per woman (2004 figures) Ireland 1.99
France 1.90
Norway 1.81
Sweden 1.75
UK 1.74
Netherlands 1.73
Germany 1.37
Italy 1.33
Spain 1.32
Greece 1.29
Source: Eurostat
www.europa.eu.int/comm/eurostat/ (http://www.europa.eu.int/comm/eurostat/)These figures seem to vary from the birthrates given in CIA World Fact book (http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/index.html). According to it, the birthrate in Sweden is only 1,66 (2005 est). Also in UK the birthrate (2005 est) is 1,66.

As Zyklop stated, low birthrates are not necessarily bad, especially in areas which are densely populated. Still, the birthrate of native Europeans should be higher, especially because one excuse for multicultists to import non-Europeans to Europe is low birthrates of native Europeans.

One quite relevant concern is that who will take care of the elderly people as in the near future there will be more and more of compared to those still in working life. One thing is for sure, non-Europeans will not be suitable for wiping old people's arses. And if you ask me, they are not suitable even to clean our toilets. That is something we must do ourselves.

Æmeric
Friday, January 27th, 2006, 03:16 PM
The modern welfare state is a major reason fertility rates have fallen in the West. It is no longer neccessary to have children to take care of you in your age & you have to pay high taxes to support the welfare state, making it more difficult to have children. These tax schemes to try and manipulate people into having more children is just another example of socialized governments trying to control every aspect of peoples lives and naturally they fail because the government (all of them) are not good at running anything.

ikki
Friday, January 27th, 2006, 03:29 PM
..yeah, and never forgetting how false the promises are of retirement. There will never ever be the money around to hand out what they have been promising, maybe a third, maybe a quarter of it.

But otoh there should be enough food and clothing. Housing shouldnt be a problem either, just a issue of managing it. ...damn social system paying 96% of the rent, meaning the rent ends up much higher for everyone than what it would otherwise be, which in turn is directly reflected upon home prices.

brian
Friday, January 27th, 2006, 04:02 PM
"It shows the deep contempt with which raising children is regarded," she said, adding that another difficulty was that some women were unable to find a suitable man.

Quite simplistic analysis, huh?


Ms von der Leyen has attracted media flak for working in Berlin while her husband and seven children remain in Hannover. However, she told Stern: "I'm astonished that women still have to justify themselves when they want to work. No father has to do this."

It is astonishing that she doesn't realize that the model she has contempt for is a model that has been used for god knows how long.

As Anglo-Hoosier suggests, bureaucratic solutions do not solve anything; they just tend to compound problems (like certain distinct problems here in the US.) The ones who really benefit will the immigrants, anyway.