More babies born in Switzerland
The number of babies being born in Switzerland continues to increase, and more and more older women are giving birth.
Figures issued by the Federal Statistics Office on Thursday for 2007 show that 74,500 children were born in Switzerland, up 1.5 per cent on the previous year, and the highest figure since 2001.
These babies can hope to live for longer than ever before. Men now have a life expectancy of 79.4 years, where boys born in 2006 could hope to reach the age of 79.1. For women the figure was up from 84 to 84.2.
The number of births to women aged over 35 had increased by 31 per cent in comparison with the 2001 figure, in contrast to the figure for women under 30, who are having fewer and fewer children.
Despite this trend, the figures show that overall women are having more children than they did six years ago. Nevertheless, at 1.46 per woman it is still insufficient to maintain the population at its current level. For this a rate of 2.1 would be needed.
While non-Swiss women continue to have more children than the Swiss, the number of births among them has remained more or less stable since 2001.
Switzerland is still well below the European average for the number of children born to unmarried couples, although the proportion has nearly doubled since 1998, and now stands at 16.2 per cent. In the European Union, a third of children are born outside marriage.
Nevertheless, marriage appears to becoming more popular in Switzerland. The number of weddings rose by 1.3 per cent in 2007 in comparison with 2006, while the number of divorces fell by 5.2 per cent.
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