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German births, 2017-2022
Births are down in Germany in 2022, as in many other countries (for starters, see here, here, here, here, here, here). Even mainstream and government-sponsored researchers are slowly recognizing that only the Covid “vaccination programme” remains as source of explanation – at this point, they just refrain from blaming the vaccines, going for strange messianic stories instead (“women decided to wait with becoming pregnant until they could be vaccinated”).
Never mind, give them some time. Until then, let us explore how bad the situation really is. Destatis is comparing monthly births to the 2019-2021 averages. For the period from January to July, the total deficit is 7.3%, with monthly values between 1.4% (May) and 9.5% (March). This is the diagram produced by Destatis:
Doesn’t look too frightening but that might be the idea. Let me present an alternative. I downloaded the 2017-2022 monthly births figures from Destatis (in 2016, the migration crisis might have significantly changed the number of women of child-bearing age, so I stopped there). Then I computed cumulative monthly figures, and the 2017-2021 median values thereof (which here means, for a specific month, ordering the five numbers and taking the middle one as median). Incidentally, the median always turns out to be the 2017 figure. I then plotted the differences between the figures from the single years and the median values:
Now 2022 really sticks out. Even until July, there is a shortfall of around 34,000 births. The five years before 2022 all fit into a +/- 6,000 corridor around the median at this time of the year.
Bad as it seems, it might actually be worse. Why did the trend seem to declerate in May, only to gain traction again in June and July? My hypothesis is pregnant women fleeing the war in Ukraine and giving birth in Germany. If the issue with the vaccines is reduced fertility, then such an influx of already pregnant women will distort the statistics.
What might be the order of magnitude? Around 470,000 babies are born in Ukraine each year, which means that there are around 9/12 * 470,000 = 350,000 pregnant women at each point in time. In total, there are 23.5 million women in Ukraine, around 0.6 million of which have fled to Germany. If the proportion of pregnant women among those having fled to Germany is the same as the proportion of pregnant women in the population (I suspect it is much larger), then around 0.35 * 0.6 / 23.5 million = 9,000 pregnant women will have come to Germany. Most of them will have given birth by now. Subtract 9,000 “free-lunch” births from the total figure, and find a decline of 9.5% instead of 7.3%. Moreover, it seems plausible to me that the maximum effect took place around May.
To cross-check this, take Destatis’s observation that the decline is much more pronounced (8.6%) among women with German citizenship than among those without (3.3%). Solving for the number of additional missing births under the assumption of a decline of 8.6% instead of 3.3% gives around 3,000 births. Subtracting additional 9,000 births, on the other hand, produces a relative decline of 12.3%. As usual, the truth might be somewhere in the middle, and there might be additional explanatory factors. Note also that, according to Destatis, the effect is much larger (12.2%) in East Germany than in West Germany (6.2%), which is difficult to reconcile with the theory that vaccination has an impact on fertility since the East is less vaccinated than the West.
All modelling should result in prediction, and thus be challengeable by reality. I predict around 720,000 births in 2022, i.e., a decline of around 8.3% compared to the 2017-2021 median. Around the start of 2023, births figures will normalize. But the damage will be done.
And by the way, here is the same diagram as above, but for France. Totally different beast: