What Germany’s new family policy has learned from other European countries



New Version March 2008

The study was sponsored by Robert Bosch Stiftung.

Full Version of the study (PDF)

The present paper is based on an article that appeared in December 2005 in the journal Sozialer Fortschritt. The text is an assessment of the situation as of April 2008, based on the most recent data available. It is hoped that the paper will serve to enable the reader to reassess the findings presented in the 2005 article.

For the original version of the paper, please see:

Kröhnert, Steffen / Klingholz, Reiner (2005): Emanzipation oder Kindergeld? Der europäische Vergleich lehrt, was man für höhere Geburtenraten tun kann. In: Sozialer Fortschritt (54), 12: 280-290.




The present analysis compares the social conditions for different fertility rates in the nations of western Europe based on an array of socioeconomic indicators. It shows clearly that the traditionally negative correlation between wealth and social development on the one hand and fertility on the other no longer holds once a society has reached a certain level of development. Today more children are born in the countries with the most advanced social systems in regard to gender equality. Based on this result, we propose to discuss the problem of low-fertility countries from a different point of view. Neither child benefits nor other sources of financial aid appear to motivate people in modern industrial societies to have more children. What is far more crucial is equality of men and women in society.



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