Shrinking and Aging Population Poses Problems for Germany

Emigration is up and the birth rate is dropping in Germany, where people are starting to worry about what a shrinking and aging population will mean for the country's future.
May 31, 2010, 11am PDT | Nate Berg
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Germany knew its birth rates were falling. But new research shows that more people are moving out of the country than in, which is causing some to worry about how long social services will be able to last on the funds available from the working class.

"With its graying population, the country's cradle-to-grave welfare system could become unaffordable due to a dearth of working-age people to keep the system going. And the country seems to be failing to either attract enough immigrants or produce babies fast enough to dispel fears of future demographic disaster.

Only two weeks ago, hopes of a government-created baby boom were dashed by the latest birth rate figures. The Federal Statistics Office revealed that despite heavy investment in maternity and paternity pay and other family-friendly policies, the birth rate was actually declining in Germany, with 651,000 children born in 2009, fully 30,000 less than in 2008."

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Published on Thursday, May 27, 2010 in Der Spiegel
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