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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 August 2006, 12:13 GMT 13:13 UK
German births decline to new low
A German playground
Germany is trying to give women incentives to have children
Germany has seen another decline in its birth rate, which is Europe's lowest.

Official figures show that the number of births fell by a further 2.8% last year. Meanwhile, the mortality rate rose by 1.5% compared with 2004.

The birth rate is exceptionally low in the former East Germany, where the city of Chemnitz is thought to have the lowest birth rate in the world.

Economists say Europe's population decline threatens to damage economic growth for decades.

The data from Germany's Office for Federal Statistics show there were 686,000 births last year - half as many as in the early 1960s.

Live births per 1,000 inhabitants in Europe in 2004
Germany: 8.6
Latvia: 8.8
Hungary: 9.4
Greece: 9.4
Czech Republic: 9.6
Austria: 9.7
Italy: 9.7
Spain: 10.6
UK: 12.0
France: 12.7
Ireland (highest birth rate): 15.2
EU 25 average: 10.5
Source: Eurostat

Germany has had the lowest birth rate in Europe for some time and this trend has been confirmed.

In 2005 it had 8.5 births per 1,000 inhabitants, compared with 12 in Britain, 12.7 in France and 15.2 in Ireland.

The German cabinet approved proposals earlier this year for a new state allowance to encourage people to have children.

Germany registered 830,000 deaths last year - an increase of 1.5% over the 2004 figure.

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02 May 06 |  Health
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31 Mar 06 |  Europe
Country profile: Germany
30 Jul 06 |  Country profiles

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