June 30, 2016 / 4:36 PM / 2 years ago

Germany had highest number of births for 15 years in 2015

BERLIN (Reuters) - More babies were born in Germany in 2015 than in any year since 2000, the Federal Statistics Office said on Thursday, adding however that even more people had died.

Babies are pictured in a maternity ward at the Munich hospital 'Rechts der Isar' January 18, 2011. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

Europe’s biggest economy is struggling with the ageing of its population. The government has introduced more generous maternity and paternity benefits in the last decade in an effort to boost the birth rate.

The lifetime birth rate per woman hit a low of 1.25 in 1995 but by 2014 had risen to 1.47. Deaths have outstripped births every year since 1972.

The office said 738,000 children were born in 2015, a 3.2 percent rise from the previous year. Some 925,000 people died, a 6.5 percent increase.

The overall population, however, is expected to have swelled to almost 83 million people in 2015, with the largest increase in over two decades due to the influx of more than a million migrants, the office said in January.

Reporting by Madeline Chambers; editing by Andrew Roche

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