WDR 3, 13 Dec. 2005, 60 min.
Why are France and Sweden successfully managing to convince young families to have children? Why is the population shrinking in Germany and Italy? Around mid-century France is going to have more inhabitants than Germany for the first time. Nowadays entire blocks of high-rise dwellings are being torn down in eastern Germany due to a lack of people to occupy them. In the Ruhr region to the west, the proportion of foreigners is on the rise because their fertility rate is higher. What’s more, as the over-ageing of society forges ahead it is threatening to turn the social welfare systems upside down: In 30 years at the latest, each gainfully employed person will have one existing pensioner to provide for. On the other hand, promising approaches do exist that demonstrate a way to escape from this demographic downwards spiral. For example the community of Laer in Germany: Thanks to well-developed child care and supervision, it has lots of children.
Manuscript of the abbreviated version at SWR: