• Germany's news in English

German population to shrink by a fifth by 2060

The Local · 28 Oct 2011, 17:05

Published: 28 Oct 2011 17:05 GMT+02:00

The report will serve as the basis for government policy to cope with the dramatic decline.

“The management of demographic change is one of the major tasks for the future," said Friedrich at a press conference in Berlin.

He also said the survey could provide a stimulus to modernize the country, which has become increasingly concerned about its ageing population and declining birth rate in recent years. Statisticians now expect that the German population will plunge 21 percent to 65 million by 2060.

The five eastern states, formed after the reunification of West Germany with its formerly communist East Germany, will be most heavily affected by the population decrease.

In Saxony-Anhalt, for example, the population is expected to shrink by 42 percent. Neighbouring Thuringia will also see a 41-percent loss in inhabitants, while Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania will experience a decline of 36 percent.

Other states, though not completely unaffected, will face smaller decreases in comparison. Bremen and Bavaria will decrease by 14 and 15 percent, respectively. Hamburg should only shrink by six percent.

Nearly 82 million people currently live in Germany. As more and more people are living longer, though, the number of working citizens is declining. According to the study, 49.8 million of Germany’s inhabitants are aged 20 to 64. Authors of the report expect there to be approximately 6.3 million less people in 2030, and by 2060, every third person in Germany will be at least 65 years old.

Simply speaking, Germany’s population is shrinking because more people are dying than are being born. A stronger rise in birth rates or mass immigration of younger people could help mitigate but not eliminate the problem.

Story continues below…

Furthermore, the demographic change will affect almost all areas of life. In 2010, approximately 2.42 million people were dependent on care. According to the report, the number could rise to 3.37 million people by 2030.

DPA/The Local/emh

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

17:31 October 28, 2011 by Frenemy
Pe@ce out ye ol' geriatric bastards, and good riddance to all your war-guilt ridden policies (and pseudo-utopian socialist tendancies) that have been geopolitically holding us back since 1991.

Politically speaking, I hope this signals a return to realpolitik as opposed to this naive Eurocentric nonsense. As the new generation reaches voting age I hope one of the first things we do is put a stop to this EU/Euro nightmare...

PS: Germans, start making babies goddamit!!
18:49 October 28, 2011 by flipinwotsit
No wonder...Having a baby in this country is very expensive...the kindergeld is a joke as everything is well expensive. Young people say ´No´to kids and yes to careers. They want money for holidays etc..believe me, we have a16 month boy and now he needs a new buggie and carseat....
20:28 October 28, 2011 by catjones
Does that mean the average german will be like one meter tall?
22:44 October 28, 2011 by Englishted
I did read in the English press that at current rates England will be the most populated country in Europe in 30 years (but it is down to immigration manly) .


Don't panic he doesn't need a carseat in his buggy.

p.s. hope you didn't call him Adolf?
23:29 October 28, 2011 by Gretl
Too selfish to breed.

P.S. I have dibbs on Bavaria!
00:14 October 29, 2011 by vonSchwerin
Will the last person to leave Magdeburg please shut off the lights? Danke.
00:30 October 29, 2011 by DoctorEconomy
Maybe this means I will finally get a nice affordable house with a garden near a river for my new family in a community that understands what living is really all about.

Growing my own food has always fascinated me. I wonder if we could install a wind generator there after the exodus. Maybe some solar panels.

And a live music and performance club. Gotta have one of those.
02:52 October 29, 2011 by reallybigdog
All that means is that Germany will replace that deficit with immigrants much like England, however by 2060 England will be 75% immigrants and English will be its 2nd language after Hindi. Germany on the other hand will swing towards being over ridden by the Turks and oh yes soccer will be a real treat then!!
10:41 October 29, 2011 by Bigbobswinden
When you live among people of other faiths or culture you will find they are human just like you.,They have the same hopes and aspirations for their children. Learn to live with others, they have much to offer.

As for the war, if we never have another it will be to soon. I am ashamed of much our politicians do in the name of security or freedom.
12:16 October 29, 2011 by strahlungsamt
Why is this a surprise? Between 400 euro jobs with no pensions, people living in small apartments in cities like Munich or Dusseldorf (where finding affordable accommodation is nearly impossible), Hartz IV and no job prospects for the majority of non professionals (80% of the population), OF COURSE nobody wants to start a big family.

Get real Germany! It's not that people don't want kids, It's because they often can't.
12:41 October 29, 2011 by StoutViking
The population won't shrink, the Greens/Reds will make sure to replace it with "import".
13:31 October 29, 2011 by GolfAlphaYankee
children can give joy and add a since of purpose to life but they used to be (and still are for 3rd world countries) old-age pillars or an investment if you will: the more you have the better your chances to be 'attended' to in your twilight years ..... but since we think we will be financially independent till the end ... having many children is less appealing.

maybe young couples would be more willing to have children if the burden (financial and in time) of rising them is shared with grand parents?
14:47 October 29, 2011 by michael4096
@Frenemy - I trust you were joking, just the thought of returning to the realpolitik of 100 years ago makes me shudder

@strahlungsamt - isn't it the other way around? As people get more free money they have fewer kids. Its those without the money to spend on themselves that are having kids

Forecasting long-term social dynamics is fun but pretty futile. Many people can't even describe today's society correctly when all you need to do is look out the window
19:38 October 29, 2011 by Frenemy
@michael4096: Nope, I wasn't joking. But I also wasn't advocating a return to 1914.

I'm just hoping that contemporary politicians will dispense with childish notions such as "we can all just get along", and that nation-states will somehow act with the "greater good" in mind...
01:05 October 30, 2011 by DavidtheNorseman
@DoctorEconomy - I'm inclined to agree. Why not use the considerable Germanic intellectual currency to develop spacious, sustainable population patterns. Most folks would like a hectare of yard (or a lot more if they are the Jaeger type) and pleasant spacious living rather than the uber-urbanization that seems to be the trend. Simply importing populations to continue population increase seems a bit of a recipe for long-term failure. BTW the percentage of children *worldwide* is decreasing (I take the projections with a grain of salt, but look at the numbers from 1950 - 2010) : http://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/unpp/p2k0data.asp
06:58 October 30, 2011 by heyheyhey
When there were only 2 billion humans crawling around on this earth there were too many. Now we have 8 billion, and we worry about a decreasing population size??????

What is wrong with this picture. we NEED to decrease the human population by at least 50%.

10:17 October 30, 2011 by nolibs
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
12:05 October 30, 2011 by flipinwotsit

lol...no way. his names Clint and he´s a great kid....he´s worth all our dosh..
22:07 October 30, 2011 by farmy
@ Gretl

When it comes to population, you and I are in full agreement. The Germans need to take lessons from the German immigrants of America in the 1800s. With their super large families, they turned America into the greatest country in the world in a short time. As far as food production, the biggest problem in the worlds Caucasian countries is food surplus, which has led to unwise decisions to turn food into fuels.
Today's headlines
Fight against Isis
German air force will join French planes over Syria
A Bundeswehr (German army) Tornado aircraft taking off from the Jagel airbase in Schleswig-Holstein in 2013. Photo: DPA

German air force will join French planes over Syria

0 minutes ago

Update: A Leading German MP confirmed that the country will offer military aid to France in the fight against Isis in Syria, following a promise by Chancellor Angela Merkel during a visit to Paris on Wednesday.

Inept crooks blast roof off bank outside Berlin
Photo: DPA

Inept crooks blast roof off bank outside Berlin

2 hours ago

Criminals used so much explosive while trying to rob a bank near Berlin on Wednesday night that they blasted a wall and part of the roof off the building - and may not even have got away with any loot.

Half of Germans fear dementia in old age
File photo: DPA

Half of Germans fear dementia in old age

3 hours ago

Half of Germans are scared of suffering from dementia or Alzheimer's disease, a survey published on Thursday found, making it second only to cancer among the nation's health fears. But neither of them is the nation's biggest killer.

Ten out-of-this-world pictures of Germany
The Bavarian Alps. Photo: Nasa

Ten out-of-this-world pictures of Germany

3 hours ago

Nasa has opened an online archive of shots taken from the International Space Station. Here are some of Germany looking her best.

60,000 Germans want Google to forget them
Photo: DPA

60,000 Germans want Google to forget them

5 hours ago

Since a top European court ruled people have a right to be forgotten online, Google has received 348,085 requests for tidbits to vanish from search results.

The Local List
5 ways German schools trump the US and UK
Students in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

5 ways German schools trump the US and UK

21 hours ago

A new report reveals how Germany's education system stacks up against the United States and the UK - with good news for kids in the Federal Republic.

Woman sleeps with scorpion for 3 months
Photo: Polizei Herford

Woman sleeps with scorpion for 3 months

22 hours ago

A woman in western Germany was horrified on Sunday after finding a scorpion in her bed that had stowed away during her sunshine holiday this summer.

North Germans are the happiest, survey finds
Schleswig-Holstein is official Germany's happiest state, according to this year's poll. Photo: DPA

North Germans are the happiest, survey finds

23 hours ago

Want to find your happy place in Germany? You might want to move to Schleswig-Holstein, according to the latest "Happiness Atlas" produced by Deutsche Post.

German Mali troops to free France for Isis fight
The Bundeswehr on operation in Mali. Photo: DPA

German Mali troops to free France for Isis fight

1 day ago

Germany will send up to 650 soldiers to Mali, Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen said Wednesday, to provide some relief to France in its global fight against Isis jihadists.

German teacher fined for painting over swastikas
Swastikas are often daubed on mosques and Jewish grave stones, among other things. File photo: DPA

German teacher fined for painting over swastikas

1 day ago

A teacher from central Germany has been ordered to pay a €1,000 fine after he painted over swastikas which had been sprayed on public property.

Germany's 10 most-expensive cities
Sponsored Article
How to figure out healthcare abroad
German ISS astronaut tells kids to follow their dreams
Sponsored Article
Why family companies need free trade and TTIP
90 percent of Germans want tougher security
Sponsored Article
'Innovative companies like Hövding benefit most from TTIP'
Are you living in Germany's most expensive city?
Sponsored Article
The cheapest and fastest way to transfer money
Should singer accused of homophobia represent Germany at Eurovision?
70 years since the Nuremberg Trials
The German connection in the Paris attacks
Snow expected on 'first weekend of winter'
10 years of Angela Merkel in Berlin
Could soldiers soon be patrolling German streets?
Second German Paris victim was teacher and journalist
'We can't beat Isis with military means'
How will Germany help France fight Isis?
One German confirmed dead in Paris attacks
'Don't take Paris out on refugees': German defence minister
Germany's minute of silence for Paris victims
Nightclub bans refugees for harassing women
OPINION: Refugees must learn to respect German values
The ancient German community at the heart of Texas
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd