Many developing countries are currently reporting low birth rates, and Germany is one of the world’s lowest-birth-rate countries. The death rate is higher than the birth rate, which is concerning. Many governments in developed countries have been devising strategies to address the numerous social and economic challenges posed by the current low birth rate in Germany and other developed countries, especially in Europe. The aim of this paper is to describe the numerous social and economic problems that Germany faces as a result of its low birth rate. The paper also looks at the government’s different proposals to deal with the problems that have arisen as a result of the situation. The national government in Germany has allocated a lot of resources and enacted various legislation that will promote childbearing to secure the future of Germany. Scholars argue that the situation of not contained will have a significant impact on the government and the society as a whole. This paper entirely examines problem the government and the society are likely to face and plan in place to reduce the fatality of the problem.
Why the topic is important
The issue of low birth rate and its related social and economic implication is critical in understanding how the modern society is prepared to tackle various challenges facing many developed nations today. Germany is among the most developed countries and plays a significant role in the development of the modern world. Internal social and economic problems Germany is facing affect directly other countries which do business and relate with Germany. Its former colonies have also maintained a close relation with Germany which impacts their social organizations greatly. The colonies have been keenly following social development in Germany and copying them thus if it is affected chances are very high many social organizations in many other countries will be affected. The topic is therefore of great importance and serves a case study of what other developed nations are undergoing and the possible effect related to low birth rate. If given a chance in future, I could still carry out studies related to the topic due its magnitude and relevance in the modern society.
Causes of low birth rate in Germany
Many reasons contribute to low birth rate in Germany today. The low mortality rate has created the perception that having few children whom one can provide for is good because there is a high chance that the children will grow to maturity. Such incidences promote the idea of having fewer children (Biermann, Kribs, Roth, & Tantcheva-Poor, 2016). In Germany just like any other developed nation, excellent healthcare services guarantee low death rate thus people embrace smaller families. Secondly, improved and advancement of women literacy and independence in Germany has contributed to the low birth rate. Many women are getting aged thus unable to bear children who make the number of new births low. Secularization has also affected many people in Germany, which make them view having less number of children as being cool (Kariman, Amerian, Jannati, & Salmani, 2016). Secular culture in Germany advocate for reduced number of children thus many individuals who have embraced the culture end up with one or no child at all.
Germany is among nations affected by urbanization. Urbanization promotes learner family structure, therefore, low birth rate (Lauf, Haase, & Kleinschmit, 2016). The culture has made people view having more than one child as backward and practice that should be done away with. In the end, people in Germany have indirectly adopted one child policies indirectly. The one child policy favors a reduction in cases of birth rates reported today in Germany. Many Germans had embraced the use of family planning methods thus able to control the number of children one need to bear. After an extended period of using birth control pill, some people become impotent while other go beyond the childbearing age thus contributing to the low birth rate reports in Germany today.
Social impacts of Low birth rate in Germany
Continuity of the family institution is at risk with the declining number of child births. If the trend goes on as it is currently doing, some families would be extinct in the next few years (Lenart, 2016). Some families in Germany have the youngest child approaching the end of the childbearing age bracket. Such families have no surety that one of their members would be surviving in the next century. Many parents are not sure who will advance their legacy and perhaps take over their inheritance. Currently, many families are in a dilemma on how they will maintain their existence (Freika, et al., 2016). Many are traumatized on realizing they cannot bear children anymore, and the only way to advance their lineage is through adoption. Child adoption has thus been on the rise in Germany as families take up children from other parents as their own.
Organization of social activities that promote cohesive social integration is on the verge of collapsing in Germany. Older people are never active when it comes to taking part in social activities (Lauf, Haase, & Kleinschmit, 2016). It has become difficult to find young people participating in social events because of their reduced numbers. Many activities in the society relates to grown-up people. Such incidences make the community not to be balanced as it should. Lack of balance makes the community have a poor organization. Such a society finds it hard to embrace new social developments with ease. Older people are always conservative and unable to cope up with new cultures and ways of life. Germany has remained a conservative state due to a good number of it population being dominated by aged people.
Having low birth rates makes provision of social activities for few children being born to be expensive. The reduced number of children makes institution such as schools costly to maintain (Kariman, Amerian, Jannati, & Salmani, 2016). Many schools for children are unpopulated making the few children enrolled pay slowly for such social activities. Other social facilities such as playing grounds for children are left in dilapidated conditions due to few children who will need to use them. It has become common to find many communal joints having no rooms for children because the number of children who will use them are few thus not feasible to have them. In the process, families have been forced to share adult shared facilities with the kids.
Demand for caregivers has been on the rise in Germany because the number of old people is too high compared to children and the youth who can assist in providing care to other family member is a need (Lenart, 2016). The situation has made Germany import human labor to help in providing care to the elderly population. With people coming in from different part of the world to provide employment, it has corrupted the indigenous culture of the people of Germany. The rich Germans culture is under threat as the immigrant come to Germany and advocate for their culture. In the end, their number of people to advance the indigenous culture of the Germany people is reduced. Thus the culture might fade away with time (Kariman, Amerian, Jannati, & Salmani, 2016).
Low birth rate means the population is composed more of older people than the younger population. Such a society has to pay more pensions than resources allocated for the advancement of children welfare (Biermann, Kribs, Roth, & Tantcheva-Poor, 2016). The few children who are being born are therefore not considered by the government which makes child upkeep cost too high. The few Children in German have become very precious thus affording the cost related to securing social amenities for them going up.
Economic Impact of low birth rate
Low birth rate is a threat to the growth of industries in future. Several years to come many industries will not have the required personnel to be used in production activities (Lenart, 2016). The younger population would be most suitable for training on how to carry out production activities in future. The low birth rate currently being experienced mean in future Germany will have to import labor if it has to keep it industries running. Importing labor is a costly activity that might make the government spend heavily on remuneration at the expense of carrying out development projects in the nation. The low birth rate, therefore, presents many dangers to the future of the economy of Germany (Blencowe, et al., 2016). Currently, a larger percentage workers are approaching retirement or will not be able to deliver their services better due to age several years to come. New people need to be born who will take employment positions currently being filled with the older population.
Older people are also not innovating as young people. Many industries in Germany will not be able to compete favorably in the international market few years to come due to lack of innovations on how to develop their products (Blencowe, et al., 2012). Skills transfer from the elderly who form a greater percentage of the population to the young and those who are being born now would not be practical thus loss of skills. Shortly the nation will lack people with individual skills and energy to drive technological projects of the government. The low birth rate will, therefore, make the government lack enough skills to fill all opportunities currently in existence which will affect the economy negatively.
Thirdly, the demand for goods requested by children is declining to make some firms go down. Lack of market due to the low population of newborns in Germany has made many enterprises that deal with the production of children products shut down (Biermann, Kribs, Roth, & Tantcheva-Poor, 2016). Existing industries have had to engage in unethical production and marketing activities to compete favorably in the market. The closing of down of firms that deal with the manufacture of children products not only deny the government revenue by also shrinks the number of available employment opportunities.
The low birth rate will mean few people will be working in future. Therefore, the government will not have enough taxes to meet its obligation (Lauf, Haase, & Kleinschmit, 2016). If the low birth rate trend is maintained it will mean the government will have to tax the few working people highly to raise enough taxes to meet the government expenditure.
Initiatives were taken or planning to be taken by the government
The low birth rate has serious implication on the performance of the administration and the organization of the society in future. Therefore, the government of Germany is not leaving anything to chance to ensure the problems is fixed (Freika, et al., 2016). The government has initiated various programs that will promote childbearing in Germany. The government has also developed friendly policies related to child care and upbringing. The government of Germany had come up with a program aimed at encouraging women to have more children. The program gives women both material and emotional support they need to have more children. The government has subsidized the cost of maternal healthcare to ensure women incur no cost of bearing children (Kariman, Amerian, Jannati, & Salmani, 2016). At some point, the government gives cash rewards to an expectant mother with the aim of making more women desire to be pregnant.
The government has also subsidized the cost of acquiring materials for use in child upbringing (Blencowe, et al., 2016). The government has reduced the cost of healthcare and education for children in order to reduce the burden of taking care of children educational expenses thus entice more people to give birth. The government is in the process of coming up with legislation that will see all child upbringing costs being met by the government. Such laws will make Germans view childbearing and education as an easy task, as all amenities and services will be provided by the government.
The government is also promoting labor laws that give parents enough time to attend to their newly born babies. Initially, parental leave was only granted to women, but now men also get the leave to encourage them to have more children as they will have time off to attend to family needs. The government has also come up with policies that ensure when one goes on leave one is given a leave allowance so as to encourage more people to have children thus be eligible to go for parental leave and receive maternity benefits (Biermann, Kribs, Roth, & Tantcheva-Poor, 2016).
The government has started taking contraceptives used for family planning to make them expensive for people to afford. When they become inaccessible, many people will have children thus making the birth rate in Germany go high (Lenart, 2016). The government has also abolished laws that stipulated the maximum number of a child a couple could have. By doing away with such regulations, the government is allowing couple have as many children as they wish to improve the rate of new births in the society.
From the above discussion, it evident that Germany just like any other nation is experiencing reduced number of newborn babies yearly. The situation has many social and economic effects on the countries. The institution of the family is affected due to lack of children who will advance the family legacy. Low birth rate also means the society will not be balanced as it should be. Many industries in Germany will not have the required workforce in future to drive industrial growth further. The government risks losing revenue in future due to the low number of people who will be working. The government has, therefore, come up with various measures that will ensure the number of newborn goes up. The government evaluates the success of each action from time to time to come up with the best approach to increase the number of children being born.
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