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More babies born in Switzerland than for 45 years

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More babies born in Switzerland than for 45 years
The number of births rose last year. File photo: DPA/AFP, Waltraud Grubitzsch
08:53 CEST+02:00
There were more babies born in Switzerland in 2016 than in any year since 1972, official statistics show.

The Federal Statistical Office (FSO) said births were up by 1.5 percent on the previous year to 87,900.

The FSO said the increase was due to the growing number of babies born to foreign parents.

However, it said it would be wrong to speak of a baby boom. Rather it was connected to the increase in the number of women of childbearing age in the country.

The average number of children per woman was unchanged at 1.5 while the average age for giving birth for the first time was slightly higher than in 2015, at 30.8 years.

Two women gave birth aged 59 and were the oldest new mothers in the country.

Three-quarters of births still occur within marriage, the statistics showed.

Marriage remains popular in Switzerland: 41,600 couples tied the knot last year, up 0.5 percent on the year before.

READ MORE: Tradition still sways married Swiss women

But according to the statistics, marriage is actually in decline given the population growth.

In 2016, 700 same-sex partnerships were registered, up four percent on the year before.

There was also a slight increase in the number of divorces, which stood at 17,000.

There were fewer deaths in 2016 – 65,000 – than the year before when a flu epidemic and very hot summer pushed up the number of fatalities.

In further good news, life expectancy continues to rise. Last year it increased from 80.7 to 81.5 years for men, and from 84.9 to 85.3 years for women.

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