About every 230th child in Germany is stillborn. After a low in 2007, the rate is tending to rise again, as the Federal Statistical Office announced on Friday in Wiesbaden. In 2021, 3,420 children were stillborn in Germany, which corresponds to around 4.3 stillbirths per 1,000 births. One of the reasons is the increasing age of the mothers.
In 2007, the statisticians recorded the lowest value so far: 3.5 stillbirths per 1000 births. Since 2010, the rate has tended to rise again. In 2020 and 2019 there were 4.1 stillbirths per 1000 births.
The stillbirth rate in East Germany, including Berlin, has almost consistently been higher than in West Germany since 1990, although the age of women at the time of stillbirth was lower in East Germany than in the West. In 2021, the stillbirth rate was 4.7 in eastern Germany and 4.2 in western Germany per 1000 births.
How often children are stillborn depends, among other things, on the age of the woman. For 25 to 36 year olds, the 2021 rate was around the average of 4.3. For younger women under the age of 21 and for women aged 37 and over, it was significantly higher, at more than 5 stillbirths per 1000 births.
At the same time, the proportion of stillbirths born to women over the age of 36 rose from 16 percent in 2007 to 20 percent in 2021. The proportion of younger women, on the other hand, fell from 7 to 3 percent.
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On average, women were 32.2 years old at a stillbirth – in the east it was 31.6 and in the west 32.3 years. Her age was therefore almost five months higher than the average age for a live birth.