In Germany, the figures reached a low point in 2015 and since have risen again, whereas the numbers for the EU as a whole have continued to fall. Moreover, there are major differences between young children under the age of six, older children between six and eleven and juveniles between twelve and seventeen. The number of juveniles has fallen particularly sharply in the new EU member states. However, because of the high former level here, their share on the population in 2019 was with 6.0 percent still higher than in Germany with 5.4 percent. In Germany, the situation is also very unfavourable with respect to the older children, who make up 5.3 percent of the population. In contrast, with respect to the younger children, the country is with 5.6 percent close to the EU average of 5.8 percent and far above the value of Southern Europe of only 5.0 percent. The decisive factor for this better positioning is the increase in the birth rate in the years between 2008 and 2016, which, however, has not continued since then. For policymakers, the falling numbers of children mean that they must prepare for the fact that relatively few people will enter the workforce in the next years, and that they should make targeted provisions, including appropriate adjustments to the social security system and a promotion of immigration.
Fewer and fewer children live in Germany and the EU
In the 25 years between 1994 and 2019, the number of minors in Germany fell by 14.2 percent and in the EU-27 (excluding the United Kingdom) by 15.1 percent. However, the trends were very different.
- Wido Geis-Thöne ·
- IW-Report No. 62 ·
- 3 December 2020