• Germany's news in English

Population free-fall continues

DDP/The Local · 11 Apr 2010, 10:43

Published: 11 Apr 2010 10:43 GMT+02:00

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In 2050, according to the Swiss research institute Prognos, Germany will have a population of 70.1 million, compared to 82.1 million today, reported the news magazine Focus.

The prognosis for Germany, with its low birthrate (1.4 children per woman on average) and increasing life expectancy (79.26 years), is a rapidly aging society, which brings along its own set of problems.

The number of people between the ages of 20 and 64 is expected to fall from just under 50 million today to 43.5 million by 2030. The number of people under 19 will shrink from 15.3 million in 2009 to 12.9 million in 2035. The average age in Germany in 2060 will be 49.3.

The predicted demographic developments will "dramatically increase" the problems already facing Germany's current model for financing its social system, according to Reiner Klingholz, director of the Berlin Institute for Population and Development.

The current system depends on working people paying into social welfare funds that support pension plans for retirees and welfare payments. As the number of retirees increases and the pool of employed people shrinks, the social services and pension coffers start emptying out.

Even if individual German women suddenly began having more babies, the absolute number of newborns will continue to sink, Klingholz said, since there will be fewer women of child-bearing age overall.

Providing a little cold comfort, he added that Germany and Europe are not alone with their demographic woes. A coming wave of retirees might well be expected in Europe, he said, but China can expect a "retiree tsunami."

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

11:05 April 11, 2010 by dbert4
And the point of this story would be that.....we're all in this together possibly? How "socialist"!
14:51 April 11, 2010 by dbert4
Yeah, but didn't that cause more problems that it solved?
18:35 April 11, 2010 by wmm208
¦quot;Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive¦quot;

- Sir Walter Scott
20:48 April 11, 2010 by dbert4
@wmm208 - And the relevence of your quote in this situation would be.....
21:16 April 11, 2010 by wmm208
Well dbert4: The relevance of using "gestarbeiter" to smooth over the numbers which are decreasing and are statistically irreversable has not worked. What is the "solution" to save the culture? Well, the EU believes its immigration "still" from Afrika & The Middle East. Now tell me, Mr. dbert4, what would be your solution?
22:43 April 11, 2010 by cobalisk
This is a paper-tiger problem. Populations must decline in developed societies therefore they do. Since it is known that the populations will decline there is little point crying chicken little about it. Yes, advanced planning is necessary and so is fiscal restraint both on the part of the citizenry and the government.

For Germany it is important to keep health costs in check and continue to encourage individual savings for retirement.

The only real crises is that all major economic indicators are predicated on growth. Ergo, countries with declining populations are projected to be shrinking economies. Most developed nations are in the same boat with future predictions of shrinking economies. Well, okay so the economy shrinks, it should with a smaller workforce, so aside from political posturing and casino capitalism downgrading credit ratings arbitrarily, what's the fuss? The EU is still the EU, Germany is still Germany, 80 million or 72 million Germany is still a very strong economy and a great country.
23:02 April 11, 2010 by wmm208
Only if the EU or Euro remains. It seems that through recent annoucments from Berlin that Germany's interests are more important than the EU's. At least thats the perception beyond Germany's borders...Because of the above stated reasons, deflation will be around for a very long time in Germany.
00:44 April 12, 2010 by Freedom_Beats_Socialism
I think the main problem is that so much of the Western world is secular. The thinking goes something like this: "What is the point of being alive? Who the heck cares? What's the point?"

If it has to be explained, then the point is already lost.
00:57 April 12, 2010 by wmm208
Dear Freedom_Beats_Socialism:

Do you mean "Athiesm"? I think athesim is good to keep down the crime and divorce rate however the downside is that your culture dies ecause God nor family values are meaningful anymore as we are witnessing from the 1.3 birth rate in Germany. Immigration should help.
09:02 April 12, 2010 by dcgi
The world is heading for massive overpopulation as it is, we need global 0% population growth even negative growth would be a huge benefit, forget the problem this will cause to pensions etc. we're talking about the survival of the species, we're almost at the 7 billion mark with no signs of slowing, it's only Europe which looks like it will go into negative growth so far.
10:33 April 12, 2010 by dbert4
@Freedom_Beats_Socialism - "I think the main problem is that so much of the Western world is secular. The thinking goes something like this: "What is the point of being alive? Who the heck cares? What's the point?"

From the reading that I do, it isn't the SECULARIST that is blowing himself and others in the vicinity up. And if you want to put your statement in a US context, once again its the religious types, usually baptist types from Texas or points South that are either "drinking the kool-aid" or hearing voices which tell them to kill their children
11:25 April 12, 2010 by freechoice
population decline? it will never happen...

watch this...

search "Muslim Demographics" in Youtube!
12:47 April 12, 2010 by dcgi
@freechoice: did what you said, what I got were basically BNP-style recruitment videos, quel surprise.

The first result was like a trailer from 2012 (with the voice to match), they shower you with nothing but half-baked stats to try and stir up fear in people who get afraid by that sort of thing, stats I might add that I can't verify (no listed sources) and sound like they've been picked out of the air or embellished.

This statistic for instance: "52 million Muslims in Europe ... will double in 20 years" ... that's an average annual growth rate 3.5% average rate of growth per year not the 8.1 children per family that was quoted earlier in the video, so that's complete tosh for starters.

... oh look, youtube result number 2, someone actually done the work for me "Muslim Demographics: The Truth", maybe watch this (video that actually lists its sources) and see if you can get to the end whilst still keeping an open mind.

Videos like "Muslim Demographics" are there just to stir up racial hatred. I think there was a guy who used this approach about 70 years ago.. what was his name again?
16:09 April 12, 2010 by Beachrider
We see this in the US, too. The US's more-open door to citizenship has allowed us to turn-up the immigration. We continue to do that. Germany has been open to non-citizens living in Germany, but not as focused into making them into Germans (or changing what-German-means to include them as citizens). Perhaps Germany will revise its citizenship approaches, as well.
17:43 April 12, 2010 by wmm208
Beachrider: Wishful thinking. There is a strong political right movement in Germany presently. Just look at what they are doing to dual citizenship. The US has a 1.6 fertility rate however, largely thankful to the mexican population, its 2.11, the bare minimum to sustain a culture. The only way to reverse anything less than this number is a drastic effect (e.g. post-war). I dont see Europe nor Germany's population turnround to a positive statistic. Mathamatically and statistically, i cant be done. Immigration from the Middle East and Afrika is the final solution.
18:34 April 12, 2010 by Freedom_Beats_Socialism
wmm208: How does atheism keep down crime and divorce?

dbert4: Your religion = your politics = your system of values = your faith. I contend that secular atheism is its own religion; its values blow with the wind, depending on which nazi in black robes is dictating values. There are then no standards of any behavior whatsoever.

Here is the real determinant. How you answer the question of how life began is the foundation of your value system. If you believe life was started by an external agent, let's call it a Creator, then you are special and your life has value. If you believe you are the result of random, purposeless biochemical/physical processes, then your life has no worth or meaning. You're born, you live, you die. Who cares how your die. Arrogant intellectual elitists, your more highly evolved superiors in black robes, will tell you how to live your life. Fun, eh?
20:00 April 12, 2010 by wmm208
I am a believer however, i am just speaking from statistics:


I agree with yor facts but appearently, Germany is an Athiest country. it wasnt until recently, within the last 20 yrs, that they started to put G-d into their politics. Because, they recognized these dire statistics with their population declining 20 years ago. If you put G-d inbto the equation, you make life worth living. Unfortantely, this hasnt helped as atheism has triumphed over religion.
20:14 April 12, 2010 by Freedom_Beats_Socialism
I would agree that statistics say that, for right now.


Atheism ultimately becomes soaked in blood before it gets defeated (again). Und das ist, warum die Bürger Waffen brauchen. Welches ist natürlich, warum Atheisten nicht wie Gewehre in den Händen der Bürger.
20:21 April 12, 2010 by wmm208
Well, as for arming citizens, i think that would be an individual right. Something which will never pass in countries such like the US however, gun possession in Europe is very low probably due to your point, without religion.

The alarming trend in Germany would be the massive conversions of Germans to Islam. However, if these citizens remain secular and not fundamentalist, then it would be okay to explore religion to reverse the above trend...Unless Geert Wilders can change this trend....
21:59 April 12, 2010 by Freedom_Beats_Socialism
I find it hard to believe that Islam is peaceful. It would be very sad if it took root in Germany. I actually blame the Christian churches for allowing themselves to be cowed into silence by leftist thought police. Wienies.

How do multi-culturally diverse infidel leftists justify tolerating Islam, since it is so anti-woman, anti-abortion, anti-diversity, anti-homosexual, anti-freedom, unspeakably cruel (chopping off hands, zum beispiel), usw? I think they subconsciously make a Faustian bargain -- since Christianity is my enemy and your enemy, then you are my friend (until I find out who you really are, but by then it will be too late).
23:21 April 12, 2010 by kent
GERMAN WOMEN are just plain unattrative spirtually and physically, except for superfically when you get below the surface and expose their so called womans wisdom you will find it is a horror
00:25 April 13, 2010 by dcgi
Not sure what place the religious babble has to do with this story, but as to the attacks on atheism, trolling or not...

I'm honestly offended when I hear ill-informed comments like "Atheism takes the meaning out of life", it's complete rubbish, do you honestly believe that there is any more value in your life as a believer if you have been created by a superior being? People who usually answer 'yes' to this, need there to either be a 'meaning' to life, a goal, a purpose, to be told what to do or for there to be a supreme being/father figure to punish the bad and reward the good so they know where they are morally with their life.

The fact is that as a pretty strong atheist I believe that your derive your own 'meaning' through your actions, your passion for various hobbies, living your life in general. Enjoy while you have it, I honestly wouldn't want there to be an afterlife, I think the thought of such things devalue & degrade the *real* life you're living now. To believers it seems this life is a test to prove or suck up to God so that when you eventually die you hope and pray you've got enough gold stars from him to get a pass into whatever heaven you believe in. I might also add, I believe Atheists are probably the most moral people around, we do things genuinely, with thought with the knowledge that there most likely isn't an afterlife to fall back on; that's why if you hadn't already guessed that you don't get many Atheists dieing for there beliefs as you tend to get with believers.

As to the need of punishing the bad and rewarding the good, it's pretty simple: realise that bad things happen to good people, sh*t happens, that's life, but that in no way should change the simple moral code of 'do as to others as I would like them to do to me'.

Consequently, all of these topics are covered in "The God Delusion", go and read a copy of it or buy the audiobook and open your mind to new ideas, or at least 'test your faith' a little bit rather than just blindly believing, as without thought behind what you believe is how the real evil happens in this world.
01:22 April 13, 2010 by wmm208
And how exactly does your Pagan worshiping platform answer the topic's main issue?
01:51 April 13, 2010 by Logic Guy
Well, although the article is about low birth rates, the comments nonetheless proves that religion is a major part of national identity.

Germans were more religious and conservative in the past.

And the women had more babies too. But now a large percentage of the country are atheists. And as a result, the Germany must now deal with dangerously low birth rates and other social problems.

I have no doubt that Germans would be much better off as conservative Christians. The theory of God is more logical than The Big Bang, simply because science still doesn't know the origins of life.

God is far more intelligent than any human. Therefore wouldn't it be wise to aspire to think and be like Him?
09:29 April 13, 2010 by dcgi
lol, religious trolls :)
12:08 April 13, 2010 by Hebbellover
Why is it so hard to have three children? Please don't give me the overpopulation crap, the west is not overpopulated it is places like India Africa and China that are!
13:31 April 13, 2010 by dbert4
"Why is it so hard to have three children?"

Maybe because they...don't want three chilren? Those right-wing usually religious weenies in this forum are always babbling about "personal liberties". Isn't the question of whether one has children and how many the ultimate liberty?
14:28 April 13, 2010 by Freedom_Beats_Socialism
dcgi: "The fact is that as a pretty strong atheist I believe that your derive your own 'meaning' through your actions, your passion for various hobbies, living your life in general."

What if I derived meaning in my own life by bothering you? And, yes, "bothering" means whatever I want it to mean and whatever you might imagine. Because it is OK with me to do that to you, my passion for a hobby as it were.

See any problem with your religion?
15:43 April 13, 2010 by dbert4
@Freedom_Beats_Socialism - "What if I derived meaning in my own life by bothering you"

Not as bad as religious types that derive, "meaning" by killing people as some of your Islamic brethren do. Or killing gays, abortion doctors and their own children (but only to save them of course)as some of your baptist type brethren do.

See any problemS with your religion?
16:41 April 13, 2010 by Freedom_Beats_Socialism

Atheism has killed many more tens of millions than any other religion.

See any problem with that?
16:59 April 13, 2010 by dcgi
@Freedom_Beats_Socialism, if you read my full post and actually digested it you would see that later on I discuss morality in an Atheist's viewpoint, including the statement 'do as to others as I would like them to do to me'... so if you truly felt you were put on this earth just to annoy little old me, you wouldn't mind if I annoyed you back. This is a pretty weak argument and a poor example, feel free to try and find something of more substance that doesn't require you as the evil-doer.

You might to also grow up and realise that today we need much less religion and much more science to face the *real* problems that exist in the world today: food shortages, population crisis, global warming to name but three.

I do not plan on solving those problems by gambling with the lives of nearly 7 billion people by means of praying to a non-existent god in the hope he's listening and can be bothered to get off his backside and magic all these problems away.
18:16 April 13, 2010 by punkinside


don't know where to begin. so many regurgitated arguments...

But lets just begin here. When you say that atheists have killed more millions than any other religion, according to the old saying by religious nuts as yourself, I'm sure that you mean hitler (not actually an atheist), stalin and mao and pol pot right?

Well, lets take a rough estimate and say that these three were directly responsible for the deaths of 100 million people (give or take), mainly in the 20th century.

Now once you stop to think about just smithering of each instance I can think of where religion played a part in killing: the victims of the original holocaust (killing off the previous tenants of israel by the arriving jews), lets add to that the 2 or 3 christians the romans threw to the lions and/or crucified, over to the crusades, the muslim expansion, the spanish inquisition, several other instances where the catholic church decided that certain groups were no longer allowed to exist, aaaaaalll the way up to northern ireland, the middle east and the WTC.

4000 years of people killing because their deity told them it was a good idea.

Does that not add up?
19:25 April 13, 2010 by dbert4
@punkinside -But don't stop there! Let's consider the experience of, "Christian" conversion of native populations in, North American, Central & South America, Africa, Australia shall we?

There were genocides of entire civilizations. Take your pick, tens of millions of aboriginal peoples who were "killed to save them" so to speak by CHRISTIAN armys, settlers and priests.

As the wise man said, ¦quot;Organized religion is a sham and a crutch for weak-minded people who need strength in numbers.¦quot; Jesse Ventura (American Governor of Minnesota)
20:39 April 13, 2010 by wenddiver
People don't buy German goods, because they think they were made by jihadis or Socialist welfare freeks.

I would suggest you have a whole buch of the old style German children, who believed in guality, Christain values, hard work and accountability quickly.
00:12 April 14, 2010 by Logic Guy
Well, the appropriate leader can do wonders for an entire nation. It should be quite obvious by now that Germany hasn't had such a person in a very long time.

It will take an individual who has extraordinary vision to manuever the country into a postive direction.

I'm sure there are many women who would have children, if they had the necessary circumstances. Many years ago, German people didn't have to worry so much about finances and job security. It is these factors that are contributing mostly to

the dangerously low birth rates.

There is nonetheless hope.
00:20 April 14, 2010 by dbert4
@wenddiver - Do you believe that people buy American products because they know that they are made by Chinese people?
00:29 April 14, 2010 by theo7777777
Where's all this heading? Check out omegaletter.com time is getting short.
01:30 April 14, 2010 by wenddiver
@dbert4- I khow you don't know much about the States, but nobody sells a produt overseas, bragging it's made in America, unless it's a Fighterplane or something.

In cooperate America all workers are assumed to be Union goof balls, so they never brag about their workers in their commercials, except for FORD, "Quality is job one". The Ford worker is as likely to be a German as an American, or a guy from Brazil or maybe somebody from FORD India.

Even the rockets that went to the moon didn't say proudly made in America on the side.
10:24 April 14, 2010 by dbert4
@wenddiver - It's impossible to brag that something was "made in Armerica" because NOTHING is made in America. Even the US cars which no one wants anyway are assembled from imported parts.

Although there are some agricultural products, such as hormone and antibiotic raised, bacteria infested meat. And gene manipulated, pesticide laden grains or beans. Or high fructose corn syrup based, drinks and highly processed food type things which are high in calorie and devoid of any vitamins. Those items are ALL proudly (?) made in America!

Although some would argue that violent American music, video games and movies are "made in America". I don't personally consider that they are anything to proudly label as American made.
12:46 April 14, 2010 by dcgi
@theo7777777: lol
15:43 April 14, 2010 by Freedom_Beats_Socialism

Quite a lot of blowback, I see.

All I would ask to be considered are facts. For example, using the scientific method in many different fields such as molecular biology and the study of fossils, Darwinian evolution is merely a fantastically improbable theory, not an established fact.
16:24 April 14, 2010 by punkinside

so... the scientific method that has every single biologist and other natural scientists worth their salt convinced that the darwinian theory of natural selection is the best explanation for the observed _fact_ that life has evolved is hubris

but you seem to like imagining things, like supernatural entities and that you just wrote up there my dear Freedom_Beats_Socialism

Remember: what darwin did is propose the theory of natural selection, not evolution. Evolution is what we observe, natural selection is the explanation for why we observe evolution.

*Prepares for the "the grand canyon was formed by the great flood that killed the dinosaurs" argument*

16:53 April 14, 2010 by Freedom_Beats_Socialism

"worth their salt"


"the best explanation"

"the observed _fact_ that life has evolved"

The faith of secular atheism is what makes it a religion.
17:52 April 14, 2010 by punkinside
Well, yes.

"Any astronomer worth their salt is convinced that the best explanation for the seasons is that the earth orbits the sun"

"Any geographer worth his salt is convinced that ships dissapear beyond the horizon because the earth is round"

"Any physicist worth their salt is convinced that newtons _theory_ of gravity is the best explanation for the fact that objects fall to the ground"

There are many theories of gravity, theres newton, then einstein, quantum gravity, now string theory has its own ideas of why gravity exists. Many work very well in some contexts, and not at all in others. None of the explanations are "because god did it"

So, yes, any biologist worth his salt is convinced that the theory of natural selection is the best way to explain the observed evolution of life.

It is so easy to look at any fenomenon and say: I don't know how that happens, so must've done it. I'm glad that people are not like that.

Now kindly refuse anti-biotics the next time you have an infection (development of which is heavily based on the observed evolution of bacteria, in which resistant populations are "naturally selected" and become dominant)
20:11 April 14, 2010 by Freedom_Beats_Socialism
So how did life begin, punkinside? Please provide or link to scientific method proof, not a faith statement.
21:03 April 14, 2010 by punkinside
Thats the beauty of it. I can proudly say "I don't know for sure... YET" and that's ok. There are many theories of how abiogenesis happened, some experiments with the primordial soup have given encouraging results.

A 100 years ago people like you were trying to expel demons from epileptics, and the "germ theory" of desease was flabbergasting many a clergyman. 500 years ago galileo was being castigated by the church for proposing the earth revolves around the sun.

Deities always hide behind that which is unknown, and the once gaping holes in our knowledge, ripe for being filled by myths have been getting ever smaller. Now your god has almost nowhere to hide.

So yes, I can proudly say I DON'T KNOW... yet!

Let's see where your god runs to hide after we find out.
22:08 April 14, 2010 by Freedom_Beats_Socialism
OK, punkinside. Glad to see you admit that secular atheism is a religion that requires faith.


If I were you, I would not rest assured that random, purposeless processes gave rise to life. The fossil record and molecular biology don't fit that theory -- basically, a species suddenly appears fully developed, micro evolution occurs within a narrow range, and then it disappears with no evidence of transition.

You seem a little too comfortable about having all the answers and painting me with politically correct ideology. Be a little more skeptical, examine the evidence using the scientific method to weigh it critically, and follow it wherever it may lead. Don't be afraid to inquire about the truthfulness of your assertions, because the truth will always set you free.
22:35 April 14, 2010 by punkinside
I don't know where I said that I have faith in anything but the unstoppable progress of our understanding of this world without any fairy tale explanations. Never understood the poor reading skills the religious folk have. That kind of selective reading is what keeps people from getting stoned to death more regularily, or only wear clothes of one fabric, as the work of fiction which you hold as absolute truth commands you to.

As for the rest. Kindly point me towards reputable journals that have published any works that back up your assertions. And I find it more than ironic that the guy that believes an unprovable, invisible and all powerful entity willed the universe into existence is telling ME to be skeptical and stick to the scientific method.

For your convenience, I'll take the time to figuratively talk into your deaf ears about one point:

* Not EVERY animal that died back then became a fossil. There is a pretty complete record with many transitional species that ALL point toward a gradual change. Gaps in the record do not disprove any theory. Maybe the fossils haven't been found YET. There is evidence in todays animals of the animals they evolved from. Show me a fossilized modern horse in pleiocene strata and I'll start doubting.

Kindly read this: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-transitional/part1a.html

In fact, read all of it. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/

"This article directly addresses the scientific evidence in favor of common descent and macroevolution. This article is specifically intended for those who are scientifically minded but, for one reason or another, have come to believe that macroevolutionary theory explains little, makes few or no testable predictions, is unfalsifiable, or has not been scientifically demonstrated. "

You may now respond with a link to some hokus pokus spewed out by the discovery institute.

And FYI:

A) evolution deals with life once it exists, it does not explain how it arises, and it is not meant to. For that please check out abiogenesis. You can still cling on to hope that your deity had something to do with the beggining. But like I said before, I'd sure like to se where he tries to hide next when we figure that one out ;-)

B) a random process is not purposeless. That is what darwin realized ;-)
16:03 April 15, 2010 by dbert4
@DougPedersen - Does your ass get sore from you doing so much talking through it?

There isn't any requirement to stay home to receive, "kindergeld". The little bit of extra income ALLOWS some mother not to have to work. Some people, other than you would say that if one isn't willing to take care of their own children that they shouldn't have them.

I can assure you, since you obviously don't know. The people with children aren't paying "marginal tax rates exceeding 50% ".
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