About a decade ago, German birthrates went from secular decline to modest but stable trend increase. We use a comprehensive regional database to analyze this turnaround in births as part of a wider process of demographic change, involving changes in population size, population age structure and fertility. First we use benchmarking to identify the characteristics of the top performing regions. Then we focus on the drivers of the observed birth turnaround. We find systematic differences between regions where births are driven by fertility versus those where births are driven by changes in population size or age structure. Our results suggest that family policy can make a contribution to raising fertility, although its impact will be different in different regions. To make them more effective, they should be recalibrated to address structural characteristics of regions. We conclude with a call for comparative European research on new trends in fertility and demographic change.
Fertility, Social policy, Regional, Germany.