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May 28, 1927


JAMA. 1927;88(22):1744. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02680480054026

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The Decline in Germany's Birth Rate  In an address before the Deutsche weltwirtschaftliche Gesellschaft, Prof. A. Grotjahn warned against the view that bad economic conditions are the cause of the decline in our birth rate and that when conditions improve the birth rate will rise. In general, economic stress and poor housing facilities may cause a fall in the birth rate, but improvement is not likely to come automatically. The dangerous factor lies in the downward tendency, which was observable in the prewar period and which has since become more accentuated. Fifty years ago, there were forty-two births per thousand married couples; in 1914 the number dropped to twenty-nine, and now it is only twenty-one, and in Berlin only fourteen. The low mortality (today 13 per thousand population) gives the impression that the population of Germany is increasing. But the low mortality is due merely to the fact that the

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