Last year 85,300 babies were born in Switzerland – a figure that hasn’t been seen since 1992, according to the Federal Statistical Office.
The number of births has been steadily increasing since 2005. In 2014, it was 2,600 more than the previous year – an increase of 3.1%.
Such demographic growth is currently unique in Europe, the statistical office said, pointing out that the birth rate has collapsed in southern Europe in particular as a result of the economic crisis. In Portugal, for example, it has dropped by a quarter since 2005.
The main reason for Swiss midwives having their hands full is population growth, fuelled by increased immigration. Women in Switzerland are not having more children – the birth rate in Switzerland has remained level in recent years at 1.5 children per woman – it’s just that there are more women.
The average age of mothers giving birth was 31.7 last year, up from 31.6 in 2013.
Of the 85,300 births, 43,900 were boys and 41,400 girls – a sex ratio of 106:100.
Some cantons were particularly productive: the birth rate was more than twice the national average in Fribourg, Basel Country, Thurgau and Appenzell Ausser Rhoden; in Obwalden, it was five times the national average.
The number of babies born outside marriage – not necessarily to single mothers –increased to 22% of all births. This is low within Europe and the United States, where in 2011 the average was around 40%. The rate in France for 2011 was around 55% and in Iceland it was 65%, the highest in the world.
swissinfo.ch and agencies