File photo Photograph:( AFP )
Several European nations including Spain, Itay and France had reported a fall in birth rates in December 2020 to January 2021 period but Germany showed 182,000 more children born in the same period
Germany which was hit hard with the virus in the past year recorded the highest birth rate since 1998, according to authorities.
The country recorded 65,903 births in March which was 5,900 more compared to 2020. The birth rate in Germany was lower in 2020 compared to the previous year.
Several European nations including Spain, Italy and France had reported a fall in birth rates in December 2020 to January 2021 period but Germany showed 182,000 more children born in the same period which was a total of ten months after the lockdown was first imposed in the country due to the virus.
However, in France the birth rate dropped five per cent in February compared to the same period last year as Italy also showed the same trend with over 10 per cent dip and estimates in Spain showed a bigger drop.
According to the World Bank, in 2018 the fertility rate in Germany was 1.57 births per woman which showed an increase since it was 1.24 children per woman in 1994.
One of the reasons attributed to the rise in birth rates is the German government's initiative to start the "Kindergeld" programme as part of child care benefit which allowed any taxpayer living in the country with children under the scheme whether employed, self-employed or independent to get €204 to €235 per child per month directly into the bank account.
According to the government guidelines, some people living abroad may also be eligible for "Kindergeld" if they meet certain German unrestricted income tax payment obligations.
Experts say Chancellor Angela Merkel's decision to allow immigrants to enter the country six years ago also helped to boost the population in subsequent years.
(With inputs from Agencies)