Birth Rate, change in the annual number of births. If the number of births exceeds the number of deaths, this is called a surplus (of births over deaths); the opposite of this is called a birth deficit. Long-term development in Austria is characterised by a decline, which represents an adaptation of the reproductive behaviour of the population to changing social, economic and cultural conditions (urbanisation, higher level of education, women´s emancipation). In 1963 135,000 children were born in Austria, in 1990 only 90,000. The overall fertility rate has dropped from 2.8 to 1.45.