Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Only the "wrong people" are having children in Germany

Deutsche Welle:

A German politician was roundly criticized recently for commenting that only the "wrong people" were having children in Germany. But he was giving voice to an uncomfortable truth about the country’s demographic shift.

Daniel Bahr, the 28-year-old parliamentarian and national committee member of the German liberal party, the FDP, will likely employ a great deal more tact when speaking with the media in future. In a recent interview with the tabloid Bild am Sonntag, Bahr didn't mince words about a demographic problem he thinks is headed Germany's way.

It's not that Germans are having too few children -- that's something the majority are well aware of by now. Rather, it's the "wrong" Germans who are procreating -- the "socially weak," who are often poorly educated, Bahr said, stirring up a furore in the process. The German elite, on the other hand, are not reproducing. Government census statistics suggest that over 40 percent of female academics remain childless in Germany. Bahr's unfortunate choice of words aside, he has a point.

"If you look at the fairly highly educated group, it's exceptional for Germany," said Reiner Klingholz, director of the Berlin Institute for Population and Development. "The rate of childlessness among the elite is the highest among western countries."

This is probably also true for immigrants with the less successful ones outbreeding the more successful.


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