How child-friendly is Germany?

How child-friendly is Germany?

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The expansion of daycare facilities, all-day schools and child benefits – the state has done a lot to make Germany more child-friendly. A survey shows that many citizens have noticed the change. Nevertheless, they see reasons against starting a family.

Germany has become more child-friendly over the past ten years, according to a new survey. In a representative online survey for the Hamburg-based BAT Foundation for Future Issues, 47 percent of respondents believed that Germany was child-friendly. Although this is only just under half of those surveyed, it is significantly more than a good decade ago. In 2010, in a similar survey, only 21 percent had answered in the affirmative to the question about how child-friendly their country was.

However, as the study by the GfK Institute further revealed, many Germans still see reasons not to start a family. 52 percent of respondents believe that not everyone can or wants to afford to have children. In a survey in 2011, 59 percent still held this view.

In each case, 47 percent are of the opinion that for many, a professional career is more important than starting a family and that it is difficult to combine a career with a family. Ten years ago, 52 and 49 percent respectively held these views. Ten years ago, the desire to remain free and independent was an argument against starting a family for 61 percent of those surveyed. Now only 45 percent agreed with that statement.

“Fear remains the main reason against children,” summed up the head of the foundation, Prof. Ulrich Reinhardt. However, it is noticeable that all arguments against starting a family have lost support in the ten-year comparison. Reinhardt sees the reason for this change as being, among other things, better childcare facilities and government support measures. “Also, digital dating sites make it easier to find the right partner, and worrying about the wrong timing is reduced by better opportunities to get pregnant later,” the researcher added.

According to the Federal Statistical Office, 773,200 children were born in Germany last year. Ten years earlier, there had been almost 100,000 fewer (677,947).

Source: / dpa

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