Birth Rates Falling and Cities Failing

Birth rates are dropping across Europe, and some cities are on the verge of collapse because of it. Exhibit A: Hoyerswerda, Germany.

"After the Berlin Wall came down, millions of East Germans who stayed behind decided against producing another generation. Their fertility more than halved. In 1988, 216,000 ­babies were born in East Germany; in 1994, just 88,000 were born. The fertility rate worked out at 0.8 children per woman. Since then it has struggled up to around 1.2, but that is still only just over half the rate needed to maintain the population. About a million homes have been abandoned, and the ­government is demolishing them as fast as it can. Left ­behind are "perforated ­cities", with huge random chunks of ­wasteland. Europe hasn't seen ­cityscapes like this since the bombing of the second world war.

And nowhere has emptied as much as Hoyerswerda. In the 80s, it had a population of 75,000 and the highest birth rate in East Germany. Today, the town's population has halved."

The problem seems to be a combination of women leaving town and a generational disinclination to have children.

Full Story: The population crash



population decline is good

I suppose the conclusion that the author of this article would have us make is that continued population growth is necessary to have economic prosperity? How dumb! This planet cannot sustain the exisiting human population if everyone has the standard of living of North Americans, and everyone has the right to have such a lifestyle. Depopulation is a good thing and more highrises should be demolished as they are a symptom of and not the solution to overpopulation.

Brand new! Urban Grid City Collection

Each city has its own unique story. Commemorate where you came from or where you want to go.
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

The Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs is the only comprehensive ranking and listing of graduate urban planning programs available.
Starting at $24.95

Get the "Green Bible" of educational planning books

Understand the complexities of planning at the local level while preparing for the AICP* exam. Find out why this edition is included in the APA's recommended reading list.

City Coasters

Hand-drawn engraved maps of your favorite neighborhoods are divided up across 4 coasters making each one unique.