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Germany in Numbers

From the Federal Statistics Office:
Less income in real terms: "Households in Germany had a net income of EUR 33,700 on average in 2005. Compared with 1991 (EUR 26,000), this was a 30% increase. In real terms, that is after deduction of consumer price rises, the income households had at their disposal on average in 2005 was 2% less than in 1991."

Less road traffic accidents: "Based on key data available for January to October 2006, the number of persons killed in traffic accidents in 2006 will reach an all-time low of 5,000. That would be 7% less persons killed than in the previous year and less than a quarter of the traffic deaths registered in 1970."

Less divorces: "Just under 201,700 couples were divorced in 2005, which was 5.6% less than in 2004. This means that eleven out of 1,000 married couples were divorced."

Less abortions: "The number of abortions notified was about 28,800 in the second quarter of 2006. That was a decrease of 1,500 (–5%) compared with the corresponding quarter of the previous year."

More prisoners: "A total of 64,512 persons served a sentence of imprisonment or youth custody in a German jail on 31 March or were held in preventive detention. As reported by the Federal Statistical Office, the total number of convicted prisoners had thus reached a new high in unified Germany. Some 90 prisoners and persons held in preventive detention were in jail per 100,000 persons of the population having attained the age of criminal responsibility (from 14 years)"

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German Impressions on : Good And Bad News From Germany

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On the ‘Atlantic Review’ website I found a short post called ‘Germany in Numbers‘ linking to some resources of the latest statistic data about Germany. The headlines are: Less income in real terms Less road traffic accidents Le...

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JW-Atlantic Review on :

And most importantly: • More pigs, less cattle: "12.6 million cattle and 26.6 million pigs were kept on agricultural holdings in Germany in November 2006. Hence the stock of cattle declined 1.2% compared to the results of the May 2006 survey, while the number of pigs saw a slight increase of 0.3% in the same period." http://www.destatis.de/presse/englisch/pm2006/p5340142.htm

Pinkerton on :

JW Regarding the divorce issue...I have to wonder if fewer people are getting married now than before. At least in the US, it seems that most couples now live together in lieu of marriage, or they are living together for up to five years or so before marriage. Is the same true in Germany? If so, do you think this changes how many people are divorcing? Also, with abortions, do those figures include those women who abort with a pill or just surgical abortions? I have to wonder with the new birth control methods and the "morning after pill" (at least that is what they call it in the US) would bring the number of abortions down. No?

JW-Atlantic Review on :

You suggest that couples live longer together and think twice (and three times and four times) before getting married. Therefore those couples that get married are extremely sure about it and less of them get divorced? Could be. More Longtime Couples in France Prefer L'Amour Without Marriage - washingtonpost.com "But French couples are abandoning the formality of marriage faster than most of their European neighbors and far more rapidly than their American counterparts: French marriage rates are 45 percent below U.S. figures. In 2004, the most recent year for which figures are available, the marriage rate in France was 4.3 per 1,000 people, compared with 5.1 in the United Kingdom and 7.8 in the United States. The only European countries with rates lower than France's were Belgium, at 4.1, and Slovenia, with 3.3." [url]http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/11/20/AR2006112001272.html[/url] I don't know the German statistics. Not exactly about your questions, but perhaps of interest nevertheless: I found this in FP Passport: "While the United States still has more children being born out of wedlock (37%) than Europe as a whole, the profile of unmarried couples differs sharply. In the U.S., births out of wedlock are still associated with teenage pregnancies and poverty. In European countries like France, they have no such stigma. Ségolène Royal, who just won the Socialist Party nomination for France's presidential election next year, has been living with Francois Hollande, the party's leader, for 25 years. They have four children and remain unmarried. And they're hardly the only prominent French couple to prefer l'amour without marriage. A closer look at the map reveals another interesting correlation. The countries in which birth rates are increasing are the same countries that have a larger percentage of children out of wedlock..." [url]http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/node/2472[/url] "Also, with abortions, do those figures include those women who abort with a pill or just surgical abortions?" 78% are surgical and about 10% via the Mifegyne pill (RU-486). In German: [url]http://www.destatis.de/presse/deutsch/pm2006/p5190093.htm[/url] "I have to wonder with the new birth control methods and the "morning after pill" (at least that is what they call it in the US) would bring the number of abortions down. No?" The "morning after" pill is NOT included in the statistics. This "Pille danach" ("afterwards pill") is available only via prescription. Not over the counter. I don't know how often it is used.

Pinkerton on :

Thank you JW for all the information. The reason I was so interested, especially in the birth control and abortion issue is that I have heard that in France, the birthrate is low enough that the government offers financial rewards for each child born. I always wondered if that is because the abortion rate is higher or they are just a lot smarter than Americans when it comes to birth control. I also find it interesting how the French view living together instead of marriage as to how it is viewed in the US. Back when I was a teen, you did hear of some couples living together, but it wasn't that common, or at the very least,spoke of in polite company. Many landlords refused to rent apartments to couples who were not married and they had to hide the fact from them. Now, it seems almost a matter of fact to live together first. I'm not sure if that makes a difference in the amount of divorces, however. I've personally seen couples who live together for up to five years and after they are married, end up in divorce within a few years. It seemed they got along better without the marriage certificate. With the vast number of divorces in the US, the stigma of being a single mother or a child of a divorce, isn't what it used to be. Therefore, many just aren't "doing the right thing", as it used to be called, and getting married just because a woman is pregnant. It doesn't matter whether the child has a different last name or is living with the father and mother anymore. Certainly, society is changing in the US regarding this issue. Now, it will be interesting to see if society (or our government) will finally allow gays to marry. Personally, I don't see why they don't allow it. As long as it is a civil ceremony, it isn't forcing churches to marry them, it's strictly a civil union. I'm not sure what it is like in Europe, but we seem to be far behind the times when it comes to accepting gays as equal citizens. But, this is veering off the subject, isn't it?

Zyme on :

@ Pinkerton Your description regarding the change of morals could also be one of Central Europe, or at least Germany. The development and the current stage of it are practically the same. "I have heard that in France, the birthrate is low enough that the government offers financial rewards for each child born." It has been the same in Germany for as long as I can remember. Recently the government has reduced the maximum time of payment for a child to 25 years (!). It was at 27 years before. But parents mostly receive more money in the first years now - when a parent stops working to stay at home for a new born, it receives 67% of its former income for 12 months from the government. Afterwards, the standart rewards are payed up until the age of 25. Would something like this be imaginable in the USA? :) Please note that I generalized the issue: The size of your rewards by the state for each child can differ depending on the social status, number of other children and many other things. It is quite complicated to describe every possibility - but this is german law after all ;)

Axel on :

Pinkerton, contrary to the US, same-sex marriages are a question of national law in Germany. Since 1 August 2001, Germany has allowed registered partnerships for same-sex couples. The Life Partnership Act grants a number of rights enjoyed by married, opposite-sex couples. Among other things, pension rights for widow(er)s and the possibility of stepchild adoption are included. Generally, homosexuality or "family values" aren't a big deal when it comes to politics and politicians. Former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder was on his fourth wife and ex-foreign minister Joschka Fischer on his fifth. Berlin's popular Mayor Klaus Wowereit is gay -- he sailed into office in 2001 despite outing himself during the campaign with the phrase: "I'm gay and that's a good thing!" --, the mayor of Hamburg, conservative (a Christian democrat!) Ole von Beust is gay, as is the leader of the opposition liberal Free Democrats, Guido Westerwelle. Only focussing on the reduce of the *absolute* number of abortions gives a somewhat distorted picture of social reality. My data aren't quite actual (2001) but the general trend is robust. If you look at the sexual behavior of adolescents which I personally find the most interesting, you see a dramatic difference between European and US adolescents: - In the United States, the teen abortion rate is nearly eight times higher than the rate in Germany, nearly seven times higher than that in the Netherlands, and nearly three times higher than the rate in France. - In the United States, the teen pregnancy rate is more than nine times higher than that in the Netherlands, nearly four times higher than the rate in France, and nearly five times higher than that in Germany. - In the United States, the teen birth rate is nearly 11 times higher than that of the Netherlands, nearly five times higher than the rate in France, and nearly four times higher than that in Germany. [url]http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/PUBLICATIONS/factsheet/fsest.htm[/url] The reasons for these results: Firstly, a general sex-positive attitude in society and pragmatic governmental policies, even institutions belonging to the protestant church promote sex education and family planning. And secondly, a general access to contraceptives. Sickness funds pay the pill until the age of 20. No "Abstinence Only Until Marriage"-campaigns... There’s also a new study on sexuality education for young people in different European countries (”Sexuality education in Europe - A reference guide to policies and practices”). See [url]http://www.euro.who.int/mediacentre/PR/2006/20061212_1[/url]

Pinkerton on :

Axel Thank you so much for the information. It seems that Europe is far ahead of the US regarding sex education for teens. Our current administration that have decided that teaching abstinence as opposed to contraceptives has been a disaster. Our insurance companies still don't cover contraceptives and that isn't helping either. The fact is, teens have sex, and it's up to us to make sure that if they do, they are protected from disease and unwanted pregnancies. It makes simple sense to me. I'm a Christian and I still see the necessity to move with the times. Why force everyone to abide by laws set out for those who choose to practice a religion? Sometimes common sense just doesn't make it into US government. I still can't understand the views of the far right regarding gays in the US. Some states have offered civil union contracts, as opposed to marriage, which will give them the same right as a married couple, but will deny them a "marriage". Personally, I don't see why that isn't acceptable. As far as I'm concerned, a civil union or marriage is basically the same thing. I think both sides are being ridiculous. I am married, but would feel no less married if I only had a civil union contract. It would probably be to the advantage of the gay community to accept the civil unions and go for the change later, when the rest of the country gets used to the idea. I wish the US would use the Europeans as a model regarding these issues, but that will never happen. I envy you,your open society.

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