Germany recorded its highest number of births last year in more than a decade, an encouraging sign for a country facing a demographic crisis.
Official figures released Friday show Germany had 715,000 births in 2014. That’s the most since 2002, when 719,000 babies were born in Germany.
Deaths still far outweighed births, with 868,000 people dying last year. But the gap between births and deaths shrank to 153,000 in 2014 from 212,000 the year before. The last year in which births outnumbered deaths in Germany was 1971.
The country has one of the lowest birthrates in the world and its population is projected to shrink from 80 million to 65 million by 2060. Officials could not be reached Friday on why the births may have risen last year.