• Germany edition
 
Census shows 700,000 German flats lack loos
Photo: DPA

Census shows 700,000 German flats lack loos

Published: 11 Jun 2013 07:40 GMT+02:00
Updated: 11 Jun 2013 07:40 GMT+02:00

Some 1.7 percent of Germany's 41.3 million flats lack the most basic of facilities, according to 2011 census data released by the federal statistics office at the end May.

Most residents of these dwellings have to go without either toilet or a bath in their homes, and those living in 330,000 of those flats must make do without either, wrote the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Monday.

Although most of the flats are in the former East Germany, experts were surprised to find that 1.5 percent of apartments in the prosperous Bavarian capital of Munich also lacked standard sanitation.

Antiquated heating systems were also surprisingly widespread, said the paper, with residents of 2.5 million German apartments found to rely solely on coal or wood-fired ovens for heat through what are often long, icy winters. A further 200,000 dwellings had no heating of any kind, census data revealed.

Click here for The Local's property listings

The census, which measured the number and living conditions of people in Germany on May 9, 2011, showed that 1.5 million fewer people live in the country than the previously assumed population of 81.7 million.

Yet confusingly, the census also showed there were also 500,000 more flats in the country than previously thought, leading some to wonder how urgent Germany's current housing shortage can really be.

The apparent contradiction is down to two factors, Rolf Kornemann, president of the Haus & Grund home owners' association told the paper.

First of all, too many of these flats can be dismissed as “junk properties,” deemed uninhabitable by many for a lack of sanitation or heating, and are often left empty when a long-term tenant moves out.

Secondly, said Kornemann, immigration and the resulting demand for housing has been shown to vary massively from region to region.

According to census figures, 4.4 percent of all German flats are currently standing empty - but regionally this figure ranges from 1.5 percent of flats in Hamburg to over 10 percent in the eastern cities of Chemnitz, Leipzig and Halle.

Germany has seen 400,000 net immigrants enter the country since the census in 2011, the vast majority of whom headed to the bigger, wealthier cities in search of work, Kornemann told the paper.

The Local/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Police suspect neo-Nazis of Reichstag attack
An investigator gives a sniffer dog the scent of an object found at the scene. Photo: DPA

Police suspect neo-Nazis of Reichstag attack

Investigators believe a Molotov cocktail thrown at the Reichstag building in Berlin early on Monday morning was the work of a far-right group, a police spokeswoman said on Tuesday. READ  

Unemployment rate stagnates in September
Photo: DPA

Unemployment rate stagnates in September

Unemployment in Germany stagnated in September, as clouds continue to build over Europe's biggest economy, official data showed on Tuesday. READ  

Germany struggles with Turkey Nato mission
A Bundeswehr Patriot missile in southern Turkey. Photo: DPA

Germany struggles with Turkey Nato mission

A shortage of trained troops caused more embarrassment for Germany's military on Tuesday when it emerged that more than one in four soldiers taking part in a Nato mission in Turkey are not getting their allotted time off between deployments. READ  

Spielberg to shoot spy thriller in Berlin
Spielberg (l), Amy Ryan (c) and Tom Hanks (r). Photo: DPA

Spielberg to shoot spy thriller in Berlin

Director Steven Spielberg is to shoot his next film in Germany, the Berlin-Brandenburg Film Board announced on Monday. The Jurassic Park and Saving Private Ryan director is turning his attention to a Cold War spy thriller. READ  

Lufthansa pilots start Frankfurt strike
Photo: DPA

Lufthansa pilots start Frankfurt strike

The fourth pilots’ strike in recent weeks hit Germany’s biggest airport on Tuesday morning, with long-haul Lufthansa flights grounded at Frankfurt. READ  

EU may drop Russian gas, Merkel warns
Chancellor Merkel with Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb in Berlin on Monday. Photo: DPA

EU may drop Russian gas, Merkel warns

Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday that Germany and Europe may have to review their energy cooperation with Russia in the long-term if the Ukraine standoff does not abate. READ  

3,000 refugees arrive at Munich station
Munich's Hauptbahnhof. Photo: DPA

3,000 refugees arrive at Munich station

More than 3,000 refugees, including hundreds of children, have arrived at Munich’s central train station over the past few weeks, according to police. READ  

Deutsche Bahn freezes most ticket prices
Photo: DPA

Deutsche Bahn freezes most ticket prices

Germany’s train operator Deutsche Bahn on Monday attempted to take the fight to cheap coach services, which have eaten into its market share, by freezing the price of second class tickets. READ  

Bavarian independence becomes reality online
Christian Söder at the Los Angeles headquarters of ICANN in April. Photo: DPA

Bavarian independence becomes reality online

Starting on Tuesday, people and businesses in Bavaria will be able to use web addresses with the domain .bayern, ending the Free State's online subjection to the Federal Republic of Germany. READ  

JobTalk Germany
Immigrant firms create 2.2 million German jobs
Photo: DPA

Immigrant firms create 2.2 million German jobs

A new study shows more and more immigrants are starting businesses in Germany, bringing some much-needed entrepreneurial spirit to the country. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
National
Revealed: Germany's military feet of clay
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Marks and Spencer: Win €300 toward your new autumn wardrobe
Photo: Shutterstock
Society
Quiz: How good is your German?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Thousands take to Berlin's streets for marathon
Photo: DPA
Politics
Germans look to UK to liven up Parliament
Photo: DPA
Society
'Incest should be legal,' says ethics board
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten noises that sound very different in German
Photo: DPA
Society
QUIZ: Can you pass the German citizenship test?
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
How to become an au pair in Germany
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten German words you'll never want to hear again
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,149
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd