IN FOCUS / 2015-08-17
Number of school beginners down 14% from school year 2004/2005
School started on 12 August in Nordrhein-Westfalen. In a few weeks the summer holidays will be over also in the other Länder. Hundreds of thousands of first graders will have had their first day at school by mid-September. According to provisional results, approximately 708,000 children started school in Germany in school year 2014/2015. This was an increase of nearly 3% on the preceding year (690,000 school beginners).
On account of the demographic change, the number of children starting school has fallen significantly in the past few years. In school year 2004/2005 there had still been 821,000 school beginners. In comparison, their numbers were down by 14% in 2014/2015.
The decline was particularly marked in the former territory of the Federal Republic where about 697,000 children started school in 2004/2005, compared with just under 574,000 (-18%) in 2014/2015. In the new Länder and Berlin the number of school beginners rose from 124,000 to 134,000 over the same period (+8%). This is due to the fact that their numbers had already been on a low level at the start of the new century as a consequence of the decline in the birth rate after German reunification.