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Demographics of Germany

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Demographics of Germany
Germany population pyramid.svg
Population pyramid as of 31 December 2020
PopulationIncrease 83,695,430 (31 March 2022)[1]
Growth rateIncrease 0.1 (2021)
Birth rate9.3 births/1,000 population (2020)[2]
Death rate11.8 deaths/1,000 population (2020)[2]
Life expectancy81.2 years (2018-2020)[3]
 • male78.64 years
 • female83.40 years
Fertility rate1.53 children born/woman (2020)[4]
Infant mortality rate3.46 deaths/1,000 live births (2014)
Net migration rate1.06 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014)
Sex ratio
Total0.97 male(s)/female (2015)
At birth1.06 male(s)/female
Under 151.05 male(s)/female
15–64 years1.02 male(s)/female
65 and over0.76 male(s)/female
Nationality
Nationalitynoun: German(s) adjective: German
Major ethnicGermans
Language
SpokenGerman, others
Population between 1800 and 2000
Population density in Germany, by kreis/district.
Population density in 1925.
Historical population
YearPop.±%
1500 9,200,000—    
1550 12,900,000+40.2%
1600 16,200,000+25.6%
1650 10,000,000−38.3%
1700 14,100,000+41.0%
1750 18,300,000+29.8%
1800 22,700,000+24.0%
1850 35,303,000+55.5%
1870 40,804,000+15.6%
1900 56,046,000+37.4%
1910 64,568,000+15.2%
1920 61,974,000−4.0%
1930 64,294,000+3.7%
1940 69,838,000+8.6%
1950 69,346,000−0.7%
1960 73,147,000+5.5%
1970 78,069,000+6.7%
1980 78,397,000+0.4%
1990 79,753,227+1.7%
2000 82,259,540+3.1%
2010 81,751,602−0.6%
2020 83,155,031+1.7%
Source: DESTATIS (after 1950), Histat (1850−1940 Reich Boundaries),[5] Max Planck Society (1500−1840 Reich Boundaries (incl .Als.-Lor.))[6]

The demography of Germany is monitored by the Statistisches Bundesamt (Federal Statistical Office of Germany). According to the most recent data, Germany's population is 83,695,430 (31 March 2022)[7] making it the most populous country in the European Union, and the nineteenth-most populous country in the world. The total fertility rate was rated at 1.53 in 2020,[4] which is far below the replacement rate of 2.1. For a long time Germany had one of the world's lowest fertility rates of around 1.3 to 1.4 however there has been a small increase in recent years.[8] Due to the low birth rate there have been more deaths than births in Germany in every year since 1972,[9] which means 2021 was the 50th consecutive year the German population would have decreased without immigration. It is the only country in the world to have such a long-term natural population decline. The decline has been somewhat mitigated by immigration: in 2019 the number of people with a foreign background was 26%.[10] Under this category there are counted foreigners, naturalized citizens, ethnic German repatriates from east Europe and their children.

Until the early 20th century Germany was also a large emigrant nation with 5 million people emigrating to the US alone from Germany in the Kaiserreich boundaries in the 19th century and more than two million in the 20th century plus additional emigrants to Latin America, Canada and eastern Europe. However after World War II immigration began to outweigh emigration, as around 14 million ethnic Germans were expelled from the former eastern Provinces of the Reich and other areas in eastern Europe of whom around 12 million made their way to present day Germany and several hundred thousand to Austria and other countries while several hundred thousand died. Some additional 4.5 million ethnic Germans from eastern Europe repatriated after 1950, especially around the end of the Eastern Bloc and mostly from the former Soviet Union, Poland and Romania.[11][12]

Large-scale immigration to West Germany began during the time of the Wirtschaftswunder from the 1950s to early 1970s when Germany had a shortage of workers and let in Southern Europeans from countries like Turkey, Italy and Spain on a temporary basis as guest workers. The liberalisation of guest worker legislation allowed many to stay and build a life in West Germany. Another large wave of immigration happened around reunification when a large group of German repatriates but also many refugees arrived mostly from former Yugoslavia due to the Yugoslav War and Bosnian War and from Turkey seeking asylum in Germany. The next large immigration wave began after eastern Expansion of the European Union in 2011 as Eastern Europeans were now allowed to live and work in Germany without a visa. In 2015 Germany took in what was, in EU terms, a relatively large number of refugees fleeing the Syrian civil war but also other conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan: 476,649 asylum seekers in 2015, 745,545 in 2016 and declining numbers after that.[13]

Germany has one of the world's highest levels of education, technological development, and economic productivity. Since the end of World War II, the number of students entering university has more than tripled, and the trade and technical schools are among the world's best. With a per capita income of about €40,883 in 2018,[14] Germany is a broadly middle-class society. However, there has been a strong increase in the number of children living in poverty. In 1965, one in 75 children was on the welfare rolls; but by 2007 this had increased to one child in six. These children live in relative poverty, but not necessarily in absolute poverty.[15] Germans are typically well-travelled, with millions travelling overseas each year. The social welfare system provides for universal health care, unemployment compensation, child benefits and other social programmes. Germany's aging population and struggling economy strained the welfare system in the 1990s, so the government adopted a wide-ranging programme of - still controversial - belt-tightening reforms, Agenda 2010, including the labour-market reforms known as Hartz concept.

History

1945–1990

Population evolution of Germany, since 1950.

After the World War II border shifts and expulsions, the Germans from Central and Eastern Europe and the former eastern territories moved westward to post-war Germany. During the partition of Germany, many Germans from East Germany fled to West Germany for political and economic reasons. Since Germany's reunification, there are ongoing migrations from the eastern New Länder to the western Old Länder for economic reasons.

The Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic followed different paths when it came to demographics. The politics of the German Democratic Republic was pronatalistic[16] while that of the Federal Republic was compensatory.

Fertility in the GDR was higher than that in the FRG. Demographic politics was only one of the reasons. Women in the GDR had fewer "biographic options", young motherhood was expected of them. State funded costfree childcare was available to all mothers.[17]

Mother's mean age at first birth in East and West Germany

Note: Berlin is included into East Germany for the year 2002 and 2008. Source: Kreyenfeld (2002); Kreyenfeld et al. (2010); HFD Germany (2010)[18]

Year 1960 1970 1980 1985 2002 2008
West Germany 24.9 23.8 25.0 26.2 27.6 28.7
East Germany 23.0 22.5 22.3 22.3 26.4 27.5

1990–today

About 1.7 million people have left the new federal states (the East) since the fall of the Berlin Wall, or 12% of the population;[19] a disproportionately high number of them were women under 35.[20]

After 1990, the total fertility rate (TFR) in the East dropped to 0.772 in 1994. This has been attributed to a "demographic shock": people not only had fewer children, they were also less likely to marry or divorce after the end of the GDR; the biographic options of the citizens of the former GDR had increased. Young motherhood seemed to be less attractive and the age of the first birth rose sharply.[17]

In the following years, the TFR in the East started to rise again, surpassing 1.0 in 1997 and 1.3 in 2004, and reaching the West's TFR (1.37) in 2007. In 2010, the East's fertility rate (1.459) clearly exceeded that of the West (1.385), while Germany's overall TFR had risen to 1.393, the highest value since 1990,[21][22] which was still far below the natural replacement rate of 2.1 and the birth rates seen under communism. In 2016, the TFR was 1.64 in the East and 1.60 in the West.[23]

Between 1989 and 2009, about 2,000 schools closed because there were fewer children.[19]

In some regions the number of women between the ages of 20 and 30 has dropped by more than 30%.[19] In 2004, in the age group 18-29 (statistically important for starting families) there were only 90 women for every 100 men in the new federal states (the East, including Berlin).

Until 2007 family politics in the federal republic was compensatory, which means that poor families received more family benefits (such as the Erziehungsgeld) than rich ones. In 2007 the so-called Elterngeld was introduced. According to Christoph Butterwegge the Elterngeld was meant to "motivate highly educated women to have more children"; the poor on the other hand were disadvantaged by the Elterngeld, and now received lower child benefits than the middle classes.[24] The very well-off (who earn more than 250.000 Euro per annum) and those on welfare receive no Elterngeld payments.[25]

In 2013 the following most recent developments were noticed:[26]

  • The income of families with young children has risen. Persons holding a college degree, persons older than 30 years and parents with only one child benefited the most. Single parents and young parents did not benefit.
  • Fathers are becoming more involved in parenting, and 28% of them now take some time off work (3.3 months on average) when their children are born.
  • Mothers are more likely to work and as a result less likely to be economically deprived than they used to be.
  • The birth rate of college-educated women has risen.

In the new federal states the fertility rate of college-educated women is now higher than that of those without college degrees. Differences in value priorities and the better availability of childcare in the eastern states are discussed as possible reasons.[27]

In 2019, the non-profit Austrian Institute of Economic Research and the Bertelsmann Stiftung published a study about the economic impact of demographics. The researchers assume a reduction in the per capita income of 3,700 until 2040.[28]

Population

Historical population of Germany

The contemporary demographics of Germany are also measured by a series of full censuses, with the most recent held in 1987. Since reunification, German authorities rely on a micro census. Demographic statistics according to the World Population Review.[29]

  • One birth every 43 seconds
  • One death every 34 seconds
  • Net gain of one person every 4 minutes
  • One net migrant every 2 minutes

[30]

Population growth

Population growth rate
-0.17% (2018 est.) Country comparison to the world: 208th

Fertility

The total fertility rate is the number of children born per woman. It is based on fairly good data for the entire period. Sources: Our World In Data and Gapminder Foundation.[31]

Total fertility rate in Germany[31]
Years 1800 1801 1802 1803 1804 1805 1806 1807 1808 1809 1810
5.4 5.40 5.39 5.39 5.38 5.38 5.37 5.37 5.36 5.36 5.35
Years 1811 1812 1813 1814 1815 1816 1817 1818 1819 1820
5.35 5.34 5.34 5.33 5.33 5.32 5.32 5.33 5.35 5.37
Years 1821 1822 1823 1824 1825 1826 1827 1828 1829 1830
5.35 5.33 5.31 5.28 5.26 5.17 5.07 4.97 4.88 4.78
Years 1831 1832 1833 1834 1835 1836 1837 1838 1839 1840
4.80 4.83 4.85 4.88 4.9 4.9 4.9 4.9 4.9 4.9
Years 1841 1842 1843 1844 1845 1846 1847 1848 1849 1850
4.9 4.95 4.97 5.00 5.02 5.02 5.02 5.01 5.01 5.01
Years 1851 1852 1853 1854 1855 1856 1857 1858 1859 1860
4.87 4.74 4.60 4.47 4.33 4.45 4.56 4.67 4.79 4.90
Years 1861 1862 1863 1864 1865 1866 1867 1868 1869 1870
4.93 4.96 5.00 5.03 5.06 5.09 5.11 5.13 5.16 5.18
Years 1871 1872 1873 1874 1875 1876 1877 1878 1879 1880
5.24 5.30 5.35 5.41 5.46 5.38 5.30 5.22 5.14 5.06
Years 1881 1882 1883 1884 1885 1886 1887 1888 1889 1890
5.14 5.21 5.29 5.28 5.26 5.25 5.23 5.22 5.21 5.20
Years 1891 1892 1893 1894 1895 1896 1897 1898 1899
5.18 5.17 5.16 5.14 5.11 5.09 5.06 5.04 4.99
Mother's mean age at first birth
29.4 years (2015 est.)

Life expectancy

Sources: Our World In Data and the United Nations.

Development of life expectancy in Germany

1875-1950

Years 1875 1885 1895 1905 1911 1915 1925 1935 1946[32]
Life expectancy in Germany 38.5 39.5 42.8 45.5 49.0 40.5 57.4 61.5 60.5

1950-2015

Period Life expectancy in
Years
Period Life expectancy in
Years
1950–1955 67.5 1985–1990 75.0
1955–1960 68.9 1990–1995 76.0
1960–1965 70.0 1995–2000 77.3
1965–1970 70.7 2000–2005 78.6
1970–1975 71.2 2005–2010 79.7
1975–1980 72.3 2010–2015 80.4
1980–1985 73.7 2015-2020 81.1

Source: UN World Population Prospects[33]

Life expectancy at birth
total population: 80.8 years. Country comparison to the world: 34th
male: 78.5 years
female: 83.3 years (2017 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 12.83% (male 5,299,798 /female 5,024,184)
15-24 years: 9.98% (male 4,092,901 /female 3,933,997)
25-54 years: 39.87% (male 16,181,931 /female 15,896,528)
55-64 years: 14.96% (male 5,989,111 /female 6,047,449)
65 years and over: 22.36% (male 7,930,590 /female 10,061,248) (2018 est.)
Median age:
total: 47.4 years. Country comparison to the world: 3rd
male: 46.2 years
female: 48.5 years (2018 est.)
Animated population pyramid
Three population pyramids of Germany: in 1889, 1989 and 2000.

Vital statistics

Statistics since 1817

Population statistics since 1817.[34][35]Territorial changes of Germany occurred in 1866 (establishment of North German Confederation, 1871 (German unification and annexation of Alsace-Lorraine), 1918/1919, 1921/1922, 1945/1946 and in 1990. Death data is incomplete for both world wars, especially WWII.

Average population Live births Deaths Natural change Crude birth rate (per 1000) Crude death rate (per 1000) Natural change (per 1000) Total Fertility Rates[fn 1][31][36][37][38][39]
All of
Germany
FRG (Former)
GDR
1817 25,009,000 987,856 675,243 312,613 39.5 27.0 12.5
1818 25,369,000 1,002,076 687,500 314,576 39.5 27.1 12.4
1819 25,733,000 1,067,920 717,951 349,969 41.5 27.9 13.6
1820 26,101,000 1,041,430 636,864 404,566 39.9 24.4 15.5
1821 26,473,000 1,080,098 606,232 473,867 40.8 22.9 17.9
1822 26,851,000 1,065,985 660,535 405,450 39.7 24.6 15.1
1823 27,217,000 1,056,020 666,817 389,203 38.8 24.5 14.3
1824 27,571,000 1,064,241 667,218 397,022 38.6 24.2 14.4
1825 27,930,000 1,092,063 684,285 407,778 39.1 24.5 14.6
1826 28,259,000 1,099,275 737,560 361,715 38.9 26.1 12.8
1827 28,558,000 1,030,944 753,931 277,013 36.1 26.4 9.7
1828 28,863,000 1,041,954 767,756 274,199 36.1 26.6 9.5
1829 29,143,000 1,028,748 810,175 218,573 35.3 27.8 7.5
1830 29,392,000 1,043,416 805,341 238,075 35.5 27.4 8.1
1831 29,642,000 1,037,047 901,117 136,353 35.0 30.4 4.6
1832 29,906,000 1,019,795 864,283 155,511 34.1 28.9 5.2
1833 30,185,000 1,107,790 860,273 247,517 36.7 28.2 8.2
1834 30,467,000 1,145,559 895,730 249,829 37.6 29.4 8.2
1835 30,802,000 1,121,193 807,012 314,180 36.4 26.2 10.2
1836 31,129,000 1,142,434 806,241 336,193 36.7 25.9 10.8
1837 31,455,000 1,141,817 915,341 226,476 36.3 29.1 7.2
1838 31,824,000 1,155,211 827,424 327,787 36.3 26.0 10.3
1839 32,223,000 1,172,917 876,466 296,452 36.4 27.2 9.2
1840 32,621,000 1,187,404 864,457 322,948 36.4 26.5 9.9
1841 32,979,000 1,201,587 864,075 337,512 36.4 26.2 10.2
1842 33,298,000 1,251,102 902,529 348,573 37.6 27.1 10.5
1843 33,605,000 1,209,762 905,608 304,154 36.0 26.9 9.1
1844 33,922,000 1,216,429 830,345 386,084 35.9 24.5 11.4
1845 34,284,000 1,278,286 867,729 410,557 37.3 25.3 12.0
1846 34,610,000 1,244,369 939,436 304,933 36.0 27.1 8.8
1847 34,784,000 1,156,820 983,981 172,839 33.3 28.3 5.0
1848 34,839,000 1,160,533 1,011,954 148,579 33.3 29.0 4.3
1849 35,004,000 1,333,379 947,476 385,903 38.1 27.1 11.0
1850 35,303,000 1,311,726 903,521 408,203 37.2 25.6 11.6
1851 35,620,000 1,306,877 889,601 417,276 36.7 25.0 11.7
1852 35,858,000 1,271,446 1,018,135 253,311 35.5 28.4 7.1
1853 35,989,000 1,244,192 978,650 265,542 34.6 27.2 7.4
1854 36,923,000 1,226,769 972,726 254,043 34.0 27.0 6.9
1855 36,136,000 1,162,945 1,016,284 146,661 32.2 28.1 4.1
1856 36,257,000 1,215,390 913,913 301,477 33.5 25.2 8.3
1857 36,524,000 1,315,034 991,753 323,281 36.0 27.2 8.9
1858 36,828,000 1,354,817 985,176 368,641 36.8 26.8 10.0
1859 37,188,000 1,393,339 956,924 436,415 37.5 25.7 11.7
1860 37,609,000 1,367,012 873,364 493,648 36.3 23.2 13.1
1861 38,001,000 1,357,355 972,989 384,366 35.7 25.6 10.1
1862 38,360,000 1,358,896 945,530 413,366 35.4 24.6 10.8
1863 38,763,000 1,454,340 996,193 458,147 37.5 25.7 11.8
1864 39,187,000 1,481,778 1,027,756 454,022 37.8 26.2 11.6
1865 39,545,000 1,488,620 1,091,419 397,201 37.6 27.6 10.0
1866 39,765,000 1,505,287 1,217,591 287,696 37.8 30.6 7.2
1867 40,031,000 1,471,747 1,045,534 426,213 36.8 26.1 10.6
1868 40,223,000 1,481,727 1,110,620 371,107 36.8 27.6 9.2
1869 40,493,000 1,529,387 1,089,503 439,884 37.8 26.9 10.9
1870 40,804,000 1,569,206 1,117,875 451,331 38.5 27.4 11.1
1871 40,997,000 1,414,248 1,212,869 201,379 34.5 29.6 4.9 4.47
1872 41,230,000 1,626,037 1,194,732 431,305 39.5 29.0 10.5 5.11
1873 41,564,000 1,648,117 1,174,293 473,824 39.7 28.3 11.4 5.17
1874 42,004,000 1,683,440 1,122,396 561,044 40.1 26.7 13.4 5.24
1875 42,518,000 1,724,412 1,172,393 552,019 40.6 27.6 13.0 5.34
1876 43,059,000 1,761,046 1,134,452 626,594 40.9 26.3 14.6 5.42
1877 43,610,000 1,744,659 1,152,023 592,636 40.0 26.4 13.6 5.34
1878 44,135,000 1,716,852 1,156,337 560,515 35.5 28.4 12.7 5.20
1879 44,655,000 1,737,080 1,143,168 593,912 38.9 26.2 12.5 5.22
1880 45,095,000 1,696,175 1,173,205 522,970 37.6 26.0 11.6 5.05
1881 45,426,000 1,682,649 1,156,391 525,758 37.0 25.5 11.5 4.98
1882 45,717,000 1,702,348 1,176,853 525,495 37.2 25.7 11.5 5.01
1883 46,014,000 1,683,699 1,190,002 493,697 36.6 25.9 10.7 4.92
1884 46,335,000 1,725,583 1,203,500 522,083 37.2 26.0 11.3 5.02
1885 46,705,000 1,729,927 1,199,742 530,185 37.0 25.7 11.4 4.99
1886 47,103,000 1,746,133 1,233,737 512,396 37.1 26.2 10.9 4.99
1887 47,540,000 1,757,079 1,151,924 605,155 36.9 24.2 12.7 4.96
1888 48,020,000 1,761,407 1,142,826 618,581 36.6 23.7 12.9 4.92
1889 48,512,000 1,772,570 1,153,087 619,483 36.4 23.7 12.8 4.88
1890 49,239,000 1,759,253 1,199,006 560,247 35.7 24.4 11.4 4.78
1891 45,767,000 1,840,172 1,164,421 675,751 37.0 23.4 13.6 4.92
1892 50,279,000 1,795,971 1,211,402 584,569 35.7 24.1 11.6 4.73
1893 50,778,000 1,865,715 1,248,201 617,514 36.8 24.6 12.2 4.83
1894 51,339,000 1,841,205 1,144,331 696,874 35.9 22.3 13.6 4.70
1895 52,001,000 1,877,278 1,151,488 725,790 36.1 22.1 14.0 4.71
1896 52,753,000 1,914,749 1,098,966 815,783 36.3 20.8 15.5 4.72
1897 53,549,000 1,926,690 1,142,056 784,634 36.1 21.3 14.7 4.67
1898 54,406,000 1,964,731 1,117,860 846,871 36.1 20.5 15.6 4.69
1899 55,248,000 1,980,304 1,185,197 795,107 35.9 21.5 14.4 4.66
1900 56,046,000 1,996,139 1,236,382 759,757 35.6 22.1 13.6 4.63
1901 56,874,000 2,032,313 1,174,489 857,824 35.7 20.7 15.0 4.65
1902 57,767,000 2,024,735 1,122,492 902,243 35.1 19.4 15.7 4.56
1903 58,629,000 1,983,078 1,170,905 812,173 33.8 20.0 13.8 4.40
1904 59,475,000 2,025,847 1,163,183 862,664 34.0 19.6 14.5 4.42
1905 60,314,000 1,987,153 1,194,314 792,839 33.0 19.8 13.1 4.27
1906 61,153,000 2,022,477 1,112,202 910,275 33.1 18.2 14.9 4.28
1907 62,013,000 1,999,933 1,117,309 882,624 32.3 18.0 14.2 4.18
1908 62,863,000 2,015,052 1,135,490 879,562 32.1 18.1 14.0 4.15
1909 61,857,000 1,978,278 1,094,217 884,061 31.0 17.2 13.9 4.01
1910 64,568,000 1,924,778 1,045,665 879,113 29.8 16.2 13.6 3.85
1911 65,359,000 1,870,729 1,130,784 739,945 28.6 17.3 11.3 3.69
1912 66,146,000 1,869,636 1,029,749 839,887 28.3 15.6 12.7 3.64
1913 66,978,000 1,838,750 1,004,950 833,800 27.5 15.0 12.4 3.53
1914 67,790,000 1,818,596 1,291,310 527,286 26.8 19.0 7.8 3.44
1915 67,883,000 1,382,546 1,450,420 -67,874 20.4 21.4 -1.0 2.58
1916 65,715,000 1,029,484 1,298,054 -268,570 15.2 19.2 -4.1 1.90
1917 67,368,000 912,109 1,345,424 -433,315 13.9 20.6 -6.4 1.66
1918 66,811,000 926,813 1,606,475 -679,662 14.3 24.8 -10.2 1.67
1919 62,897,000 1,260,500 978,380 282,120 20.0 15.6 4.5 2.37
1920 61,794,000 1,599,287 932,929 666,358 25.9 15.1 10.8 3.06
1921 62,473,000 1,581,130 869,555 711,575 25.3 13.9 11.4 2.98
1922 61,890,000 1,424,804 890,181 534,623 23.0 14.4 8.6 2.69
1923 62,250,000 1,318,489 866,754 451,735 21.2 13.9 7.2 2.45
1924 62,740,000 1,290,763 766,957 523,806 20.6 12.2 8.3 2.37
1925 63,110,000 1,311,259 753,017 558,242 20.8 11.9 8.8 2.38
1926 63,510,000 1,245,471 742,955 502,516 19.6 11.7 7.9 2.23
1927 63,940,000 1,178,892 765,331 413,561 18.4 12.0 6.5 2.09
1928 64,470,000 1,199,998 747,444 452,554 18.6 11.6 7.0 2.11
1929 64,670,000 1,164,062 814,545 349,517 18.0 12.6 5.4 2.02
1930 65,130,000 1,144,151 718,807 425,344 17.6 11.0 6.5 1.98
1931 65,510,000 1,047,775 734,165 313,610 16.0 11.2 4.8 1.80
1932 65,716,000 993,126 707,642 285,484 15.1 10.8 4.3 1.70
1933 66,027,000 971,174 737,877 233,297 14.7 11.2 3.5 1.67
1934 66,409,000 1,198,350 725,000 473,000 18.0 10.9 7.1 2.07
1935 66,871,000 1,263,976 792,018 471,958 18.9 11.8 7.1 2.20
1936 67,349,000 1,278,583 795,793 482,790 19.0 11.8 7.2 2.25
1937 67,831,000 1,277,046 794,367 482,679 18.8 11.7 7.1 2.28
1938 68,424,000 1,348,534 799,220 549,314 19.7 11.7 8.0 2.45
1939 69,314,000 1,413,230 854,348 558,882 20.4 12.3 8.1 2.59
1940 69,838,000 1,402,258 885,591 516,667 20.1 12.7 7.4 2.59
1941 70,244,000 1,308,232 844,435 463,797 18.6 12.0 6.6 2.43
1942 70,834,000 1,055,915 847,861 208,054 14.9 12.0 2.9 1.97
1943 70,411,000 1,124,718 853,246 271,472 16.0 12.1 3.9 2.10
1944 69,000,000 1,090,000(e) 915,000 175,000 15.8 13.3 2.5 2.05
1945 66,000,000 820,000(e) 1,210,000 -390,000 12.4 18.3 -5.9 1.56
1946 64,260,000 921,998 1,001,331 -79,333 14.3 15.6 -1.2 1.76
1947 65,842,000 1,028,421 932,628 95,793 15.6 14.2 1.5 1.92 2.01 1.75
1948 67,365,000 1,049,074 804,839 244,235 15.6 11.9 3.6 1.96 2.07 1.76
1949 68,080,000 1,106,803 770,852 335,951 16.3 11.3 4.9 2.11 2.14 2.03
1950 68,374,000 1,116,701 748,329 368,372 16.3 10.9 5.4 2.14 2.10 2.35
1951 68,882,000 1,106,380 752,697 353,683 16.1 10.9 5.1 2.16 2.06 2.46
1952 69,171,000 1,105,084 767,639 337,445 16.0 11.1 4.9 2.16 2.08 2.42
1953 69,564,000 1,095,029 790,654 304,375 15.7 11.4 4.4 2.15 2.07 2.40
1954 69,934,000 1,109,743 775,291 334,452 15.9 11.1 4.8 2.18 2.12 2.38
1955 70,307,000 1,113,408 795,938 317,470 15.8 11.3 4.5 2.18 2.11 2.38
1956 70,711,000 1,137,169 812,111 325,058 16.1 11.5 4.6 2.22 2.19 2.30
1957 71,166,000 1,165,555 840,195 325,360 16.4 11.8 4.6 2.28 2.28 2.24
1958 71,637,000 1,175,870 818,418 357,452 16.4 11.4 5.0 2.29 2.29 2.22
1959 72,180,000 1,243,922 835,402 408,520 17.2 11.6 5.7 2.36 2.34 2.37
1960 72,664,000 1,261,614 876,721 384,893 17.4 12.1 5.3 2.37 2.37 2.35
1961 73,352,000 1,313,505 850,300 463,205 17.9 11.6 6.3 2.45 2.47 2.42
1962 74,049,000 1,316,534 878,814 437,720 17.8 11.9 5.9 2.44 2.45 2.42
1963 75,019,000 1,355,595 895,070 460,525 18.1 11.9 6.1 2.51 2.52 2.47
1964 75,273,000 1,357,304 870,319 486,985 18.0 11.6 6.5 2.54 2.55 2.48
1965 76,061,000 1,325,386 907,882 417,504 17.4 11.9 5.5 2.50 2.51 2.48
1966 76,734,000 1,318,303 911,984 406,319 17.2 11.9 5.3 2.51 2.54 2.43
1967 76,954,000 1,272,276 914,417 357,859 16.5 11.9 4.7 2.48 2.54 2.34
1968 77,249,000 1,214,968 976,521 238,447 15.7 12.6 3.1 2.38 2.39 2.30
1969 77,918,000 1,142,366 988,092 154,274 14.7 12.7 2.0 2.21 2.20 2.24
1970 77,772,000 1,047,737 975,664 72,073 13.5 12.5 0.9 2.03 1.99 2.19
1971 78,355,000 1,013,396 965,623 47,773 12.9 12.3 0.6 1.96 1.92 2.13
1972 78,717,000 901,657 965,689 -64,032 11.5 12.3 -0.8 1.73 1.72 1.79
1973 78,951,000 815,969 962,988 -147,019 10.3 12.2 -1.9 1.56 1.54 1.58
1974 78,966,000 805,500 956,573 -151,073 10.2 12.1 -1.9 1.53 1.51 1.54
1975 78,862,000 782,310 989,649 -207,339 9.9 12.5 -2.6 1.48 1.45 1.54
1976 78,299,000 798,334 966,873 -168,539 10.2 12.3 -2.2 1.51 1.46 1.64
1977 78,161,000 805,496 931,155 -125,659 10.3 11.9 -1.6 1.51 1.40 1.85
1978 78,066,000 808,619 955,550 -146,931 10.4 12.2 -1.9 1.50 1.38 1.90
1979 78,082,000 817,217 944,474 -127,257 10.5 12.1 -1.6 1.50 1.39 1.90
1980 78,295,000 865,789 952,371 -86,582 11.1 12.2 -1.1 1.56 1.44 1.94
1981 78,399,000 862,100 954,436 -92,336 11.0 12.2 -1.2 1.53 1.43 1.85
1982 78,293,000 861,275 943,832 -82,557 11.0 12.1 -1.1 1.51 1.41 1.86
1983 78,082,000 827,933 941,032 -113,099 10.6 12.1 -1.4 1.43 1.33 1.79
1984 77,797,000 812,292 917,299 -105,007 10.4 11.8 -1.3 1.39 1.29 1.74
1985 77,619,000 813,803 929,649 -115,846 10.5 12.0 -1.5 1.37 1.28 1.73
1986 77,635,000 848,232 925,426 -77,194 10.9 11.9 -1.0 1.41 1.34 1.70
1987 77,718,000 867,969 901,291 -33,322 11.2 11.6 -0.4 1.43 1.37 1.74
1988 78,116,000 892,993 900,627 -7,634 11.4 11.5 -0.1 1.46 1.41 1.67
1989 78,677,000 880,459 903,441 -22,982 11.2 11.5 -0.3 1.42 1.39 1.56
1990 79,365,000 905,675 921,445 -15,770 11.4 11.6 -0.2 1.45 1.45 1.52
1991 79,753,227 830,019 911,245 -81,226 10.4 11.4 -1.0 1.33 1.42 0.98
1992 80,274,564 809,114 885,443 -76,329 10.1 11.0 -1.0 1.29 1.40 0.83
1993 80,974,632 798,447 897,270 -98,823 9.9 11.1 -1.2 1.28 1.39 0.78
1994 81,338,093 769,603 884,661 -115,058 9.5 10.9 -1.4 1.24 1.35 0.77
1995 81,538,603 765,221 884,588 -119,367 9.4 10.8 -1.5 1.25 1.34 0.84
1996 81,817,499 796,013 882,843 -86,830 9.7 10.8 -1.1 1.32 1.40 0.95
1997 82,012,162 812,173 860,389 -48,216 9.9 10.5 -0.6 1.37 1.44 1.04
1998 82,057,379 785,034 852,382 -67,348 9.6 10.4 -0.8 1.36 1.41 1.09
1999 82,037,011 770,744 846,330 -75,586 9.4 10.3 -0.9 1.36 1.41 1.15
2000 82,163,475 766,999 838,797 -71,798 9.3 10.2 -0.9 1.38 1.41 1.21
2001 82,259,540 734,475 828,541 -94,066 8.9 10.1 -1.1 1.35 1.38 1.23
2002 82,440,309 719,250 841,686 -122,436 8.7 10.2 -1.5 1.34 1.37 1.24
2003 82,536,680 706,721 853,946 -147,225 8.6 10.3 -1.8 1.34 1.36 1.26
2004 82,531,671 705,622 818,271 -112,649 8.5 9.9 -1.4 1.36 1.37 1.31
2005 82,500,849 685,795 830,227 -144,432 8.3 10.1 -1.8 1.34 1.36 1.30
2006 82,437,995 672,724 821,627 -148,903 8.2 10.0 -1.8 1.33 1.34 1.30
2007 82,314,906 684,862 827,155 -142,293 8.3 10.0 -1.7 1.37 1.38 1.37
2008 82,217,837 682,514 844,439 -161,925 8.3 10.3 -2.0 1.38 1.37 1.40
2009 82,002,356 665,126 854,544 -189,418 8.1 10.4 -2.3 1.36 1.35 1.40
2010 81,802,257 677,947 858,768 -180,821 8.3 10.5 -2.2 1.39 1.39 1.46
2011 81,751,602 662,685 852,328 -189,643 8.1 10.4 -2.3 1.39 1.38 1.46
2012 80,327,900 673,544 869,582 -196,038 8.4 10.8 -2.4 1.41 1.40 1.48
2013 80,523,746 682,069 893,825 -211,756 8.5 11.1 -2.6 1.42 1.41 1.49
2014 80,767,463 714,927 868,356 -153,429 8.9 10.8 -1.9 1.47 1.47 1.54
2015 81,197,537 737,575 925,200 -187,625 9.1 11.4 -2.3 1.50 1.50 1.56
2016 82,175,684 792,141 910,902 -118,761 9.6 11.1 -1.4 1.59 1.60 1.64
2017 82,521,653 784,901 932,272 -147,371 9.5 11.3 -1.8 1.57 1.58 1.61
2018 82,792,351 787,523 954,874 -167,351 9.5 11.5 -2.0 1.57 1.58 1.60
2019 83,019,213 778,090 939,520 -161,430 9.4 11.3 -1.9 1.54 1.56 1.56
2020 83,155,031 773,144 985,572 -212,428 9.3 11.8 -2.6 1.53 1.55 1.54
2021 83,222,242 795,517 1,023,723 -228,206 9.6 12.3 -2.7

In 2020, 586,421 (75.8%) children were born to mothers with German citizenship, while 186,723 (24.2%) children were born to mothers with foreign citizenship.

Current vital statistics

[40][41]

Period Live births Deaths Natural increase
January-April 2021 255,581 352,772 -97,191
January-April 2022 221,928 349,759 -127,831
Difference Decrease -33,653 (-13.16%) Positive decrease -3,013 (-0.85%) Decrease -30,641

Social issues

Most childbirths in Germany happen within marriage. Out of 778,080 births in 2019 258,835 were to unmarried parents,[42] which means that around 33% or one third of the children are born out of wedlock, while two thirds are within. This percentage of unmarried birth has long been growing and reached 33% in 2010, more than twice of what it was in 1990.[43] However in recent years it has started to stagnate or even decrease.

The Mikrozensus done in 2008 revealed that the number of children a German woman aged 40 to 75 had, was closely linked to her educational achievement.[44] In Western Germany the most educated women were the most likely to be childless. 26% of those groups stated they were childless, while 16% of those having an intermediate education, and 11% of those having compulsory education, stated the same. In Eastern Germany however, 9% of the most educated women of that age group and 7% of those who had an intermediary education were childless, while 12% of those having only compulsory education were childless.

The reason for that east-western difference is that the GDR had an "educated mother scheme" and actively tried to encourage first births among the more educated. It did so by propagandizing the opinion that every educated woman should "present at least one child to socialism" and also by financially rewarding its more educated citizen to become parents. The government especially tried to persuade students to become parents while still in college and it was quite successful in doing so. In 1986 38% of all women, who were about to graduate from college, were mothers of at least one child and additional 14% were pregnant and 43% of all men, who were about to graduate from college, were fathers of at least one child. There was a sharp decline in the birth rate and especially in the birth rate of the educated after the fall of the Berlin wall. Nowadays,[when?] 5% of those about to graduate from college are parents.

The more educated a Western German mother aged 40 to 75 was in 2008, the less likely she was to have a big family.

Percent of Western German mothers having 1, 2 and 3 or more children by educational attainment
number of children compulsory education intermediary education highest education
one child 22 30 31
two children 39 48 48
three or more children 39 22 21
[45]

The same was true for a mother living in Eastern Germany in 2008.

Percent of Eastern German mothers having 1, 2 and 3 and more children by educational attainment
number of children compulsory education intermediary education highest education
one child 23 33 33
two children 37 46 51
three or more children 40 21 16
[45]

In 2011, this trend was reversed in Eastern Germany, where more highly educated women now had a somewhat higher fertility rate than the rest of the population.[46]

Persons who said they had no religion tend to have fewer children than those who identify as Christians, and studies also found that conservative-leaning Christians had more children compared to liberal-leaning Christians.[47][48]

A study done in 2005 in the western German state of Nordrhein-Westfalen by the HDZ revealed that childlessness was especially widespread among scientists. It showed that 78% of the women scientists and 71% of the male scientists working in that state were childless.[49]

Ethnic minorities and migrant background (Migrationshintergrund)

Germany does not collect data on the ethnic and racial identifications of its citizens, however does collect data on the background group by birth of a individual.[50] The Federal Statistical Office defines persons with a migrant background as all persons who migrated to the present area of the Federal Republic of Germany after 1949, plus all foreign nationals born in Germany and all persons born in Germany as German nationals with at least one parent who migrated to Germany or was born in Germany as a foreign national. The figures presented here are based on this definition only.

In 2010, 2.3 million families with children under 18 years were living in Germany, in which at least one parent had foreign roots. They represented 29% of the total of 8.1 million families with minor children. Compared with 2005 – the year when the microcensus started to collect detailed information on the population with a migrant background – the proportion of migrant families has risen by 2 percentage points.[51] In 2019, 40% children under 5 years old had migrant background.[52]

Most of the families with a migrant background live in the western part of Germany. In 2010, the proportion of migrant families in all families was 32% in the former territory of the Federal Republic. This figure was more than double that in the new Länder (incl. Berlin) where it stood at 15%.[51]Eastern Germany has a much lower proportion of immigrants than the West, as the GDR did not let in that many guest workers and Eastern Germany's is not doing as good as West Germany's and had a higher percentage of jobless persons until recently. However in recent years the number of people with an immigrant background in East Germany has been growing as refugees (as well as German Repatriates) are distributed with the Königssteiner Schlüssel, so every German state has to take the same number of them compared to its population and economy. In 2019 19.036 million people or 89,6% of people with an immigrant background live in Western Germany (excluding Berlin), being 28,7% of its population, while 1.016 million people with immigrant background 4,8% live in Eastern States, being 8,2% of population, and 1.194 million people with an immigrant background 5,6% live in Berlin, being 33,1% of its population.[52]

In 2019, 26% of Germans of any age group (up from 18,4% in 2008) and 39% of German children (up from 30% in 2008) had at least one parent born abroad. Average age for Germans with at least one parent born abroad was 35.6 years (up from 33.8 years in 2008), while that for Germans, who had two parents born in Germany was 47.3 years (up from 44.6 in 2008). [52][53]

The largest groups of people with an immigrant background in Germany are people from Turkey, Poland and Russia.

Population of Germany in 2019

  Germans[54] (74%)
  German repatriates and their descendants (3.5%)
  Other Europeans (excl. Turkey) (9.9%)
  Asians (9.1%)
  Africans (1.2%)
  Americas (0.7%)
  Australia/Oceania (0.1%)
  Others/unspecified (1.5%)

As of 2019, the population by background was as follows:

Major nationalities which reside in Germany by ancestry as of 2019
Background group Year
2019[55]
Number %
European (excluding people with European background from Africa, America, Oceania and Asia) 71,568,000 87.4%
Flag of Europe.svg EU-28 States 68,090,000 83.1%
     Flag of Germany.svg German (excluding ethnic German repatriates)[56] 60,532,000 74%
     Official flag of Poland.png Polish (including ethnic German repatriates) 2,237,000 2.7%
     Flag of Romania.svg Romanian (including ethnic German repatriates) 1,018,000 1.2%
     Flag of Italy.svg Italian 873,000 1.1%
     Flag of Greece.svg Greek 453,000 0.6%
     Flag of Croatia.png Croat 416,000 0.5%
     Flag of Austria.svg Austrian 342,000 0.4%
     Flag of Bulgaria.svg Bulgarian 312,000 0.4%
     Flag of Spain.svg Spanish 210,000 0.3%
     Flag of the Netherlands.svg Dutch 193,000 0.2%
     Flag of France.svg French 192,000 0.2%
     Other and former EU member states (primarily Hungarian, Czech, British and Portuguese) 1,214,000 1.5%
European Other 3,478,000 4.2%
     Flag of Russia.svg Russian (including ethnic German repatriates) 1,388,000 1.7%
     Flag of Kosovo.svg Kosovar Albanians 471,100 0.6%
     Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Bosnian 438,000 0.5%
     Flag of Serbia.svg Serb 329,000 0.4%
     Flag of Ukraine.svg Ukrainian 314,000 0.4%
     Others (primarily Macedonian, Swiss and Albanian) 538,000 0.7%
Asians 7,424,000 9.1%
     Flag of Turkey.svg Turkish 2,824,000 3.5%
     Flag of Kazakhstan.svg Kazakh (including ethnic German repatriates) 1,245,000 1.5%
     Flag of Syria.svg Syrians 843,000 1.0%
     Flag of Iraq.svg Iraqi 310,000 0.4%
     Flag of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.svg Afghan 297,000 0.4%
     Flag of Iran.svg Iranian 237,000 0.3%
     Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Chinese 189,000 0.2%
     Flag of Vietnam.svg Vietnamese 188,000 0.2%
     Others (primarily Indian, Pakistanis and Arabs from other countries) 1,291,000 1.6%
African 988,000 1.2%
     Sub-Saharan African 529,000 0.6%
     Flag of Morocco.svg Moroccan 239,000 0.3%
     Flag of Tunisia.svg Tunisian 95,000 0.1%
     Flag of Algeria.png Algerian 79,000 0.1%
     Flag of Egypt.svg Egyptians 46,000 0.1%
Americas 568,000 0.7%
     Flag of the United States.svg Americans 182,000 0.2%
     Other people's from the American continent 386,000 0.4%
Australia/Oceania 45,000 0.1%
Other/unspecified/mixed 1,255,000 1.5%
Total 81,848,000 100%

Four other sizable groups of people are referred to as "national minorities" (nationale Minderheiten) because they have lived in their respective regions for centuries: Danes, Frisians, Roma and Sinti, and Sorbs. There is a Danish minority (about 50,000, according to government sources) in the northernmost state of Schleswig-Holstein. Eastern and Northern Frisians live at Schleswig-Holstein's western coast, and in the north-western part of Lower Saxony. They are part of a wider community (Frisia) stretching from Germany to the northern Netherlands. The Sorbs, a Slavic people with about 60,000 members (according to government sources), are in the Lusatia region of Saxony and Brandenburg. They are the last remnants of the Slavs that lived in central and eastern Germany since the 7th century to have kept their traditions and not been completely integrated into the wider German nation.

Until World War II the Poles were recognized as one of the national minorities. In 1924 the Union of Poles in Germany had initiated cooperation between all national minorities in Germany under the umbrella organization Association of National Minorities in Germany. Some of the union members wanted the Polish communities in easternmost Germany (now Poland) to join the newly established Polish nation after World War I.[citation needed] Even before the German invasion of Poland, leading anti-Nazi members of the Polish minority were deported to concentration camps; some were executed at the Piaśnica murder site. Minority rights for Poles in Germany were revoked by Hermann Göring's World War II decree of 27 February 1940, and their property was confiscated.

After the war ended, the German government did not re-implement national minority rights for ethnic Poles. The reason for this is that the areas of Germany which formerly had a native Polish minority were annexed to Poland and the Soviet Union, while almost all of the native German populations (formerly the ethnic majority) in these areas subsequently fled or were expelled by force. With the mixed German-Polish territories now lost, the German government subsequently regarded ethnic Poles residing in what remained of Germany as immigrants, just like any other ethnic population with a recent history of arrival. In contrast, Germans living in Poland are recognized as national minority and have granted seats in Polish Parliament. It must be said, however, that an overwhelming number of Germans in Poland have centuries-old historical ties to the lands they now inhabit, whether from living in territory that once belonged to the German state, or from centuries-old communities. In contrast, most Poles in present-day Germany are recent immigrants, though there are some communities which have been present since the 19th and perhaps even the 18th centuries. Despite protests by some in the older Polish-German communities, and despite Germany being now a signatory to the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, Germany has so far refused to re-implement minority rights for ethnic Poles, based on the fact that almost all areas of historically mixed German-Polish heritage (where the minority rights formerly existed) are no longer part of Germany and because the vast majority of ethnic Poles now residing in Germany are recent immigrants.

Roma people have been in Germany since the Middle Ages. They were persecuted by the Nazis, and thousands of Roma living in Germany were killed by the Nazi regime. Nowadays, they are spread all over Germany, mostly living in major cities. It is difficult to estimate their exact number, as the German government counts them as "persons without migrant background" in their statistics. There are also many assimilated Sinti and Roma. A vague figure given by the German Department of the Interior is about 70,000. In contrast to the old-established Roma population, the majority of them do not have German citizenship, and are classified as immigrants or refugees.

A family of so-called "Spätaussiedler" (repatriates of ethnic German origin), because the parents were born abroad they will be counted as "persons with immigrant background"

After World War II, 14 million ethnic Germans were expelled from the eastern territories of Germany and homelands outside the former German Empire. The accommodation and integration of these Heimatvertriebene in the remaining part of Germany, in which many cities and millions of apartments had been destroyed, was a major effort in the post-war occupation zones and later states of Germany.

Since the 1960s, ethnic Germans from the People's Republic of Poland and Soviet Union (especially from Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine), have come to Germany. During the time of Perestroika, and after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the number of immigrants increased heavily. Some of these immigrants are of mixed ancestry. During the 10-year period between 1987 and 2001, a total of 1,981,732 ethnic Germans from the FSU immigrated to Germany, along with more than a million of their non-German relatives. After 1997, however ethnic Slavs or those belonging to Slavic-Germanic mixed origins outnumbered these with only Germanic descent amongst the immigrants. The total number of people currently living in Germany having FSU connection is around 4 to 4.5 million (Including Germans, Slavs, Jews and those of mixed origins), out of that more than 50% is of German descent.[57][58]

Germany now has Europe's third-largest Jewish population. In 2004, twice as many Jews from former Soviet republics settled in Germany as in Israel, bringing the total inflow to more than 100,000 since 1991.[59] Jews have a voice in German public life through the Central Council of Jews in Germany (Zentralrat der Juden in Deutschland). Some Jews from the former Soviet Union are of mixed heritage.

Turkish parade in Berlin

In 2019 there were also a growing number of at least 529,000 black Afro-Germans defined as people with an African migrant background.[52] Out of them more than 400 thousand have a citizenship of a Subsahara-African country,[60] with others being German citizens. Most of them live in Berlin and Hamburg. Numerous persons from northern African Tunisia and Morocco live in Germany. While they are considered members of a minority group, for the most part, they do not considers themselves "Afro-Germans," nor are most of them perceived as such by the German people. However, Germany does not keep any statistics regarding ethnicity or race. Hence, the exact number of Germans of African descent is unknown.

Germany's biggest East Asian minorities are the Chinese people in Germany, numbering 189,000[52] and Vietnamese people in Germany, numbering 188,000,[52]many of whom living in Berlin and eastern Germany. Also there are about 35,000 Japanese citizens residing in Germany.[61] There are also groups of South Asian and Southeast Asian immigrants. Around 163,000 Indians and 124,000 Pakistanis live in Germany.[52] Additionally some 30,000 Filipino citizens and more than 20,000 Indonesian citizens reside in Germany.[61]

Numerous descendants of the so-called Gastarbeiter live in Germany. The Gastarbeiter mostly came from Turkey, Italy, Greece, Spain, Morocco, Portugal, the former Yugoslavia, Tunisia and Chile. Also included were Vietnam, Mongolia, North Korea, Angola, Mozambique and Cuba when the former East Germany existed until reunification in 1990.[62] The (socialist) German Democratic Republic (East Germany) however had their guest-workers stay in single-sex dormitories.[63] Female guest workers had to sign contracts saying that they were not allowed to fall pregnant during their stay. If they fell pregnant nevertheless they faced forced abortion or deportation.[64] This is one of the reasons why the vast majority of ethnic minorities today lives in western Germany and also one of the reasons why minorities such as the Vietnamese have the most unusual population pyramid, with nearly all second-generation Vietnamese Germans born after 1989.

Proportion of Germans without a migrant background (2016)
Germany is home to the third-largest number of international migrants worldwide,[65] In 2016, around 23% of Germany's population do not hold a German passport or are descendants of immigrants.[66]

Foreign nationals in Germany

As of 2021, the most common groups of resident foreign nationals in Germany were as follows:[67]

This list does not include non-ethnic Germans with German nationality and foreign nationals without resident status.

Rank Nationality Population (31.12.2021)
Total 11,817,790
1  Turkey 1,458,360
2 European Union Poland 870,995
3  Syria 867,585
4 European Union Romania 844,535
5 European Union Italy 646,845
6 European Union Croatia 434,610
7 European Union Bulgaria 410,885
8 European Union Greece 362,565
9  Afghanistan 309,820
10  Iraq 276,925
11  Russia 268,620
12  Kosovo 262,005
13  Serbia 239,630
14  Bosnia and Herzegovina 222,065
15 European Union Hungary 212,735
16 European Union Spain 187,865
17 European Union Austria 186,695
18  India 171,895
19  Ukraine 155,310
20 European Union Netherlands 150,435
21  China 146,450
22 European Union France 140,495
23 European Union Portugal 138,730
24  North Macedonia 132,435
25  Iran 129,105
26  United States 119,255
27  Vietnam 110,515
28  Albania 90,360
29  Morocco 85,805
30  United Kingdom 84,945
31  Eritrea 78,740

Population density and distribution

With an estimated 83.2 million inhabitants in December 2020,[68]Germany is the second-most populous country in Europe after Russia, and ranks as the 19th largest country in the world in terms of population. Its population density stands at 233 inhabitants per square kilometer.

States

Germany comprises sixteen states that are collectively referred to as Länder.[69] Due to differences in size and population the subdivision of these states varies, especially between city-states (Stadtstaaten) and states with larger territories (Flächenländer). For regional administrative purposes four states, namely Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hesse and North Rhine-Westphalia, consist of a total of 19 Government Districts (Regierungsbezirke). As of 2019 Germany is divided into 400 districts (Kreise) on municipal level, these consist of 294 rural districts and 106 urban districts.

Germany states by foreigners as percentage of population as of 31.12.2020
State Capital Area
(km2)
Population[70]
(31 December 2021)
Foreigners Population density
North Rhine-Westphalia Düsseldorf 34,112 17,924,591 Decrease 2,540,666 Increase 525
Bavaria Munich 70,541 13,176,989 Increase 1,857,003 Increase 187
Baden-Württemberg Stuttgart 35,748 11,124,642 Increase 1,821,847 Increase 311
Lower Saxony Hanover 47,709 8,027,031 Increase 823,498 Increase 168
Hesse Wiesbaden 21,116 6,295,017 Increase 1,079,016 Increase 298
Rhineland-Palatinate Mainz 19,858 4,106,485 Increase 501,138 Increase 207
Saxony Dresden 18,450 4,043,002 Decrease 229,441 Increase 219
Berlin Berlin 891 3,677,472 Increase 742,031 Increase 4,127
Schleswig-Holstein Kiel 15,804 2,922,005 Increase 260,990 Increase 185
Brandenburg Potsdam 29,654 2,537,868 Increase 138,827 Increase 86
Saxony-Anhalt Magdeburg 20,454 2,169,253 Decrease 122,647 Increase 106
Thuringia Erfurt 16,202 2,108,863 Decrease 123,146 Increase 130
Hamburg Hamburg 755 1,853,935 Increase 319,927 Increase 2,455
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Schwerin 23,295 1,611,160 Increase 80,872 Increase 69
Saarland Saarbrücken 2,571 982,348 Decrease 121,291 Increase 382
Bremen Bremen 419 676,463 Decrease 130,713 Increase 1,613
Germany Berlin 357,582 83,237,124 Increase 10,893,053 Increase 233

Urbanization

Germany officially has eleven metropolitan regions. In 2005, Germany had 82 cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants.

Metropolitan region Location Description Population Notes
Rhine-Ruhr Rhein-Ruhr-Region-LEP.png The metropolitan area is part of the pan-European Blue Banana mega region and is a significant industrial and commercial hub, home to many of Germany's biggest corporations and contributing as much as 15% to the German GDP. Included in the rather polycentric conurbation are the cities of Cologne, Düsseldorf, Bonn, Dortmund and Essen served by two of the country's largest airports Düsseldorf Airport and the Cologne Bonn Airport. Particularly among young Germans, Cologne and Düsseldorf are known for their nightlife and open-minded atmosphere. approx. 10 million Turks, Poles, Italians, Romanians, Africans, Arabs, Greeks, Dutch, Russians, Serbs, Bulgarians and Spaniards
Berlin/Brandenburg Metropolregion-BerlinBrandenburg.png Berlin is the capital and largest city. It lies in the eastern part of the country, completely surrounded by the rather sparsely populated state of Brandenburg. Berlin is regarded as one of Europe's most open, vibrant and ever changing capitals. The city is arguably the most diverse city in Germany regarding culture and ethnicity. Regarded as an economically weak region of Germany for a long time, it is now transforming itself into the entrepreneurial center of Europe. Dubbed the "Silicon Allee" by insiders of the tech industry, Berlin is home to countless startup companies and one of Germany's densest knowledge hubs with 4 public universities and countless research centers. approx. 6 million Turks, Russians, Poles, Africans, Italians, Americans, Vietnamese, Serbs, Arabs, Bulgarians, Romanians, French and Spaniards
Munich Landkreise Bayern Metropolregion München.svg The metropolitan area in and around Munich has one of Germany's highest standard of living. Housing some of the countries largest car and machine companies, it is known for its economic strength mixed with the uniqueness of Bavarian culture, taking up almost the entirety of southern Bavaria. It is the closest metropolitan area to the Alps. approx. 5.7 million Turks, Albanians, Croats, Italians, Poles, Greeks, Austrians, Romanians, Arabs, Africans and Serbs
Rhine-Main Metropolregion Frankfurt-Rhein-Main.svg Frankfurt is the financial and commercial center both for Germany and continental Europe. Almost all of Germany's big banks and the ECB have their HQ located inside the city of Frankfurt. Despite not having a population of over a million, it is Germany's only city with a large, visible cluster of skyscrapers. The city is one of Europe's biggest transit hubs with Europe's 4th busiest airport (Frankfurt airport), Germany's second busiest railway stations and one of the EU's most heavily used interchanges. approx. 5.5 million Turks, Poles, Italians, African, Croats, Romanians, Greeks, Serbs, Spaniards, Americans, Chinese, Arabs and Indians
Hamburg Metropolregion Hamburg 2017.png Hamburg is the country's second largest city and the biggest Hanseatic city in Europe. It is Europe's 3rd busiest container port with just under 9 million TEUs annually. The city is proud of its diverse nightlife and music scene centered in and around the famous St. Pauli district. approx. 5.3 million Turks, Albanians, Poles, African, Portuguese, Romanians, Russians, Italians and Spaniards
Stuttgart Metropolregion Stuttgart.png Stuttgart has a reputation for research, inventions and industry. The German headquarters of many international enterprises are in Stuttgart. This contrasts with the strong rural, down-to-earth attitude of the Stuttgarters throughout the classes. A popular slogan is "We are good at everything. Except speaking High (standard) German." approx. 5.2 million Turks, Albanians, Greeks, Dutch, Italians, Croats, Serbs, French, Chinese, Romanians, Americans and Spaniards.[citation needed]
Hannover–Braunschweig–Göttingen–Wolfsburg Metropolregionhabsgö.jpg The relatively urban south of Lower Saxony, located on route between the Ruhr area and Berlin, and the route form Hamburg to the south, has been important for logistics, industry, but also developed a strong standing in the service industries. approx. 3.7 million Turks, Kurds (especially around Celle), Serbs, Ukrainians, Greeks, Russians, Italians (especially in Wolfsburg) and Spanish (Especially in Hanover).[citation needed]
Bremen/Oldenburg Metropolregion Bremen-Oldenburg.png Located in the northwestern part of Germany, the main axis contains the cities of Bremen, Delmenhorst and Oldenburg, with the cities of Wilhelmshaven and Bremerhaven being the northern corners at the north sea. Major rural areas are covered in between these cities. There is a smooth transition to the Hamburg metropolitan area to the east. approx. 2.7 million Turks, Russians, Albanians, Serbs, Portuguese, Iranians, Dutch, Americans and Britons.[citation needed]
Central German Metropolitan Region Karte Leipzig in Deutschland.png The economic region stretches across three federal states. The major city is Leipzig in Saxony, other important cities are Halle/Saale, Gera and Jena. The region is known for its universities and research, for its trade fairs and conventions, as a central distribution hub (Leipzig-Halle-Airport), as center for chemical and industrial production, for the well preserved inner cities and the developed classical and alternative cultural scene. Leipzig is one of the fastest-growing cities in Germany, with a rising economy. approx. 2.4 mil Russians, Poles, Vietnamese, Italians, Romanians, Ukrainians, Chinese, Turks, Portuguese, people from Syria, from Kazakhstan and from Afghanistan.[71]

Immigration

The United Nations Population Fund lists Germany as host to the third-highest number of international migrants worldwide, behind the United States and Saudi Arabia.[65] The largest ethnic group of non-German origin are the Turkish. Since the 1960s, West and later reunified Germany has attracted immigrants primarily from Southern and Eastern Europe as well as Turkey, many of whom (or their children) have acquired German citizenship over time. While most of these immigrants initially arrived as guest workers, changes to guest worker legislation allowed many to stay and to build lives in Germany.

Germany had signed special visa agreements with several countries in times of severe labour shortages or when particular skills were deficient within the country. During the 1960s and 1970s, agreements were signed with the governments of Turkey, Yugoslavia, Italy and Spain to help Germany overcome its severe labour shortage.

As of 2012, after Germany fully legalized visa-free immigrants from the eastern states of the EU, the largest sources of net immigration to Germany were other European countries, most importantly Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy, Spain, and Greece; notably, in the case of Turkey, German Turks moving to Turkey slightly outnumbered new immigrants in 2012,[72] however, in recent years there are more Turkish immigrants in Germany than emigrants again, including illegal Turkish migrants.

In 2015, there was a large increase in asylum applications, mainly due to the violent conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan: 476,649 asylum applications were counted that year.[73].This number went up to even 745,545 in 2016 and began to decline after it.[13]

Education

Cadets of the German Navy exercising in front of one of the gyms of Germany's naval officers school, the Marineschule Mürwik.

Responsibility for educational oversight in Germany lies primarily with the individual federated states. Since the 1960s, a reform movement has attempted to unify secondary education into a Gesamtschule (comprehensive school); several West German states later simplified their school systems to two or three tiers. A system of apprenticeship called Duale Ausbildung ("dual education") allows pupils in vocational training to learn in a company as well as in a state-run vocational school.[74]

Optional kindergarten education is provided for all children between three and six years old, after which school attendance is compulsory for at least nine years, depending on the state. Primary education usually lasts for four years and public schools are not stratified at this stage.[74] In contrast, secondary education includes three traditional types of schools focused on different levels of academic ability: the Gymnasium enrols the most academically promising children and prepares students for university studies; the Realschule for intermediate students lasts six years; the Hauptschule prepares pupils for vocational education.[75]

In addition Germany has a comprehensive school known as the Gesamtschule. While some German schools such as the Gymnasium and the Realschule have rather strict entrance requirements, the Gesamtschule does not have such requirements. They offer college preparatory classes for the students who are doing well, general education classes for average students, and remedial courses for those who aren't doing that well. In most cases students attending a Gesamtschule may graduate with the Hauptschulabschluss, the Realschulabschluss or the Abitur depending on how well they did in school. The percentage of students attending a Gesamtschule varies by Bundesland. In 2007 the State of Brandenburg more than 50% of all students attended a Gesamtschule,[76] while in the State of Bavaria less than 1% did.

The general entrance requirement for university is Abitur, a qualification normally based on continuous assessment during the last few years at school and final examinations; however there are a number of exceptions, and precise requirements vary, depending on the state, the university and the subject. Germany's universities are recognised internationally; in the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) for 2008, six of the top 100 universities in the world are in Germany, and 18 of the top 200.[77] Nearly all German universities are public institutions, tuition fees in the range of €500 were introduced in some states after 2006, but quickly abolished again until 2014.

Percentage of jobholders holding Hauptschulabschluss, Realschulabschluss or Abitur in Germany[78]

1970 1982 1991 2000
Hauptschulabschluss 87,7% 79,3% 66,5% 54,9%
Realschulabschluss 10,9% 17,7% 27% 34,1%
Abitur 1,4% 3% 6,5% 11%

Literacy

Over 99% of those of age 15 and above are estimated to be able to read and write. However, a growing number of inhabitants are functionally illiterate. The young are much more likely to be functionally illiterate than the old. According to a study done by the University of Bremen in cooperation with the "Bundesverband Alphabetisierung e.V.", 10% of youngsters living in Germany are functionally illiterate and one quarter are able to understand only basic level texts.[79] Illiteracy rates of youngsters vary by ethnic group and parents' socioeconomic class.

Health

The life expectancy in Germany is 81.1 years (78.7 years males, 83.6 years females, 2020 est.).[80] As of 2009, the principal cause of death was cardiovascular disease, at 42%, followed by malignant tumours, at 25%.[81] As of 2008, about 82,000 Germans had been infected with HIV/AIDS and 26,000 had died from the disease (cumulatively, since 1982).[82] According to a 2005 survey, 27% of German adults are smokers.[82] A 2009 study shows Germany is near the median in terms of overweight and obese people in Europe.[83]

Religion

The national constitutions of 1919 and 1949 guarantee freedom of faith and religion; earlier, these freedoms were mentioned only in state constitutions. The modern constitution of 1949 also states that no one may be discriminated against due to their faith or religious opinions. A state church does not exist in Germany (see Freedom of religion in Germany).[84]

2020 map of Christian denominations in the states of Germany
  Roman Catholic majority
  Christian majority, Catholic plurality
  Christian majority, EKD plurality
  Christians less than 50% of population, majority of Christians belong to EKD

According to a 1990s poll by Der Spiegel, 45% of Germans believe in God, and a quarter in Jesus Christ.[85] According to the Eurobarometer Poll 2010, 44% of German citizens responded that "they believe there is a God", 25% responded that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force" and 27% responded that "they don't believe there is any sort of spirit, God or life force". 4% gave no response.[86]

Christianity is the largest religion in Germany, comprising an estimated 53.9% of the country's population.[87][88]

Smaller religious groups (less than 1%) include Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism.[89][87]

The two largest churches, the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), have lost significant number of adherents. In 2020 the Catholic Church accounted for 26.7%[87][88][90] and the Evangelical Church for 24.3%[87][88][91] of the population. Orthodox Church has 1.9% and other Christian churches and groups summed up to 1.1% of the population.[87][89] Since the reunification of Germany, the number of non-religious people has grown and an estimated 40.7% of the country's population are not affiliated with any church or religion.[87][88][89]

The other religions make up to less than 1% of the population.[89] Buddhism has around 200,000 adherents (0.2%), Judaism has around 200,000 adherents (0.2%), Hinduism 90,000 (0.1%), Sikhism 75,000 (0.1%) and Yazidis religion (45,000-60,000).[92] All other religious communities in Germany have fewer than 50,000 (<0.1%) adherents.

Religion in Germany (2020)[87][88]
No Religion
40.7%
Roman Catholicism
26.7%
Evangelical Church
24.3%
Islam
3.5%
Orthodox Church
1.9%
Other Christians
1.1%
Other Religions
0.9%

Protestantism is concentrated in the north and east and Roman Catholicism is concentrated in the south and west. According to the last nationwide census, Protestantism is more widespread among the population with German citizenship; there are slightly more Catholics total because of the Catholic immigrant population (including such groups as Poles and Italians).[93] The former Pope, Benedict XVI, was born in Bavaria. Non-religious people, including atheists and agnostics, might make up as many as 55% of the total population, and are especially numerous in the former East Germany and major metropolitan areas.[94]

Of the roughly 4 million Muslims, most are Sunnis and Alevites from Turkey, but there are a small number of Shi'ites and other denominations.[95][96] 1.9% of the country's overall population declare themselves Orthodox Christians,[87] with Serbs, Greeks, Romanians, Ukrainians and Russians being the most numerous.[97] Germany has Europe's third-largest Jewish population (after France and the United Kingdom).[98] In 2004, twice as many Jews from former Soviet republics settled in Germany as in Israel, bringing the total Jewish population to more than 200,000, compared to 30,000 prior to German reunification. Large cities with significant Jewish populations include Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich.[99] Around 250,000 active Buddhists live in Germany; 50% of them are Asian immigrants.[100]

2011 Census

Religion (2011 German Census)

  Catholic Church (30.8%)
  EKD (30.3%)
  Other, atheist or unspecified[101] (38.9%)

Census results were as follows:

  • Roman Catholic Church: 24,740,380 or 30.8% of the German population;
  • Evangelical Church: 24,328,100 or 30.3% of the German population;
  • Other, atheist or not specified (including Protestants outside EKD): 31,151,210 or 38.9% of the German population.[93]

Languages

German is the only official and most widely spoken language. Standard German is understood throughout the country.

Minority languages

Bilingual German-Sorbian city limit signs

Danish, Low German, Low Rhenish, the Sorbian languages (Lower Sorbian and Upper Sorbian), and the two Frisian languages, Saterfrisian and North Frisian, are officially recognized and protected as minority languages by the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages in their respective regions. With speakers of Romany living in all parts of Germany, the federal government has promised to take action to protect the language. Until now, only Hesse has followed Berlin's announcement, and agreed on implementing concrete measures to support Romany speakers.

Implementation of the Charter is poor. The monitoring reports on charter implementation in Germany show many provisions unfulfilled.[citation needed]

Protected Minority Languages in Germany
Language States
Danish Schleswig-Holstein
North Frisian Schleswig-Holstein
Saterland Frisian Lower Saxony
Low German Brandenburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein, North Rhine-Westphalia
Low Rhenish North Rhine-Westphalia
Upper Sorbian Saxony
Lower Sorbian Brandenburg
Romany Hesse de facto, de jure in all states (see text)

High German dialects

City limits sign; this city is called Emlichheim in High German and Emmelkamp in Low German

German dialects – some quite distinct from the standard language – are used in everyday speech, especially in rural regions. Many dialects, for example the Upper German varieties, are to some degree cultivated as symbols of regional identity and have their own literature, theaters and some TV programming. While speaking a dialect outside its native region might be frowned upon, in their native regions some dialects can be spoken by all social classes.[citation needed]. Nevertheless, partly due to the prevalence of Standard German in media, the use of dialects has declined over the past century, especially in the younger population.

The social status of different German dialects can vary greatly. The Alemannic and Bavarian dialects of the south are positively valued by their speakers and can be used in almost all social circumstances. The Saxonian and Thuringian dialects have less prestige and are subject to derision. While Bavarian and Alemannic have kept much of their distinctiveness, the Middle German dialects, which are closer to Standard German, have lost some of their distinctive lexical and grammatical features and tend to be only pronunciation variants of Standard German.

Low Saxon dialects

Low Saxon is officially recognized as a language on its own, but despite this fact, there's little official action taken on fostering the language. Historically one third of Germany's territory and population was Low Saxon speaking. No data was ever collected on the actual number of speakers, but today the number of speakers ranges around 5 million persons. Despite this relatively high number of speakers there is very little coverage in the media (mostly on NDR TV, no regular programming) and very little education in or on the language. The language is not fixed as part of the school curriculum and Low Saxon is used as a medium of instruction in one school only in the whole Germany (as a "model project" in primary school sided by education in Standard German). As a consequence the younger generation refused to adopt the native language of their parents. Language prevalence dropped from more than 90% (depending on the exact region) in the 1930s to less than 5% today. This accounts for a massive intergenerational gap in language use. Older people regularly use the language and take private initiative to maintain the language, but the lack of innovative potential of the younger generation hinders language maintenance. The language too has an own literature (around 150 published books every year) and there are many theatres (mostly lay stages, but some professional ones, like for example Ohnsorg-Theater).

Use of Low Saxon is mainly restricted to use among acquaintances, like family members, neighbours and friends. A meeting of a village council can be held almost completely in Low Saxon if all participants know each other (as long as written protocols are written in Standard German), but a single foreigner can make the whole switching to Standard German.

The Low Saxon dialects are different in their status too. There's a north–south gradient in language maintenance. The Southern dialects of Westfalian, Eastfalian and Brandenburgish have had much stronger speaker losses, than the northern coastal dialects of Northern Low Saxon. While Eastfalian has lost speakers to Standard German, Westfalian has lost speakers to Standard German and Standard German based regiolect of the Rhine-Ruhr area. Brandenburgish speakers mostly switched to the Standard German-based regiolect of Berlin. Brandenburgish is almost completely replaced by the Berlin regiolect. Northern Low Saxon speakers switched mostly to pure Standard German.

Foreign languages

English is the most common foreign language and almost universally taught by the secondary level; it is also taught at elementary level in some states. Other commonly-taught languages are French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Russian. Dutch is taught in states bordering the Netherlands, and Polish in the eastern states bordering Poland.[citation needed] Latin and Ancient Greek are part of the classical education syllabus offered in many secondary schools.

According to a 2004 survey, two-thirds of Germany's citizens have at least basic knowledge of English.[citation needed] About 20% consider themselves to be competent speakers of French, followed by speakers of Russian (7%), Italian (6.1%), and Spanish (5.6%). The relatively high number of Russian speakers is a result of immigration from the former Soviet Union to Germany for almost 10 consecutive years, plus its having been learned in school by many older former East Germans as compulsory first foreign language.[citation needed]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ In fertility rates, 2.1 and above is a stable population and have been marked blue, 2 and below leads to an aging population and a reducing population.

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