On Dec. 31, 2007, Germany had a population of 82,218,000, according to preliminary numbers released by the country's Federal Statistical Office. That was 97,000 people fewer than lived in the country at the end of 2006.
The drop comes despite good news on the birth front. The number of births in 2007 grew by 1.8 percent, the first increase since 1997. But the number of deaths also increased, by 0.7 percent.
So while 685,000 newborns were registered in 2007, 12,000 more than in during the previous year, the number of deaths climbed as well, up from 822,000 in 2006 to 827,000 last year.
Therefore, in 2007 about 142,000 more people died than were born. That number was offset by the 44,000 new immigrants who came to Germany in 2007.
Fewer people also got married in Germany in 2007. Last year, 369,000 couples tied the knot, down from 374,000 during 2006 - a decrease of 1.3 percent. The number of marriages in Germany has been falling since the early 1990s.