North Rhine-Westphalia with an increasing number of births
North Rhine-Westphalia sees an increase in births. Demographic change and its possible consequences for society have been hotly debated for years. Again and again, previous population forecasts had to be revised downwards when the current birth figures were published. Now light appears for the first time in NRW at the end of the tunnel.
According to the North Rhine-Westphalian State Statistical Office in Düsseldorf, the number of births increased by 1.9 percent in 2012 compared to the previous year increased by 2,658 to 145,755 births, reports the State Statistical Office. What is striking is the rather high average age of women when their first child is born. According to official information, this was 29.2 years in 2012 in NRW. There was also a considerable number of multiple births among the births. "2,657 women gave birth to multiple births last year, including 2,594 twin and 63 triplet births," according to the State Statistics Office.
Just under half of the newborns in NRW were born as the first child of his mother, 49,040 children or almost 34 percent of newborns as the second child, 17,664 children (12.1 percent) as the third and 8,732 children (6 percent) as the fourth or further child reports the State Statistical Office. The second children saw the light of day in almost 45 percent of the cases (21,964 children) less than three years after the birth of the first child. Around 65 percent of the third-born babies were born more than three years apart from their next older siblings. In the fourth or further births, the difference to the previous child was in about 60 percent of the cases even more than four years, explained the State Statistical Office.
Regional differences in births The positive development of births in NRW is by no means evident in all regions. "While more children were born in 37 independent cities and districts and in the Aachen region than in the previous year, there was a decline in the other administrative districts," reports the State Statistical Office. The most significant increases in births were recorded in Mönchengladbach with an increase of 9.7 percent and Gelsenkirchen with an increase of 7.8 percent. The most drastic falls in the birth rate had to cope with the independent city of Remscheid (with a decrease of 5.2 percent) and the district of Heinsberg (-3.9 percent). There can hardly be any talk of a general trend reversal in births in NRW in view of the continued decline in births in some regions, but the first positive signs are showing. (fp)
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