Revision of Germany's Population by 2050 from Sun, 06/05/2011 - 19:56

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All information extracted from the Federal Stastical Office Report unless otherwise noted.

Birth Rates

Germany's Population has been decreasing since 2003, according to the Federal Statistical Office. However the shift in population will be a dramatic one. Birth numbers will continue to fall in future, and A low birth rate causes the number of potential mothers to become smaller and smaller. In future, when these girls will be grown up and when they, too, will have on average less than 2.1 children, the future number of children will continue to drop. In spite of a rise in life expectancy the number of deaths will increase, because the numerically strong cohorts will grow to old age.

Trends in Total Fertility Rate since 1952

Age Structure

More than 10 million people of 80 years and older will live in Germany in 2050; in 2005 their number amounted to 3.7 million. The relations between old and young people will strongly change. In late 2005, 20% of the population were younger than 20 years, the share of those being 65 years old or older was 19%. The remaining 61% were so-called working-age people (20 to under 65 years). In 2050, however, just about half of the population will be at working age, more than 30% will be 65 years old or older and circa 15% will be younger than 20 years.

Age Structure of the Population in Germany

Working-Age People

As a result, there will be a clear shift in the age structure of working-age people. At present, 50% of working-age people belong to the medium-age group, which includes people of 30 to 49 years, nearly 20% belong to the young age group of 20 to 29 years and 30% to the older age group of 50 to 64 years. In 2020, the medium-age group will account for as little as 42%, the older one, however, will remain almost unchanged at about 40%; the situation will be similar in 2050 (medium group: 43%, older group: nearly 40%). The percentage of the 20 to under 30-year-olds will not change very strongly. As a result, older people will clearly prevail among working-age population.

Shrinking Cities


Berlin has been identified as a Shrinking City by the Urban Planning at the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden. The author's thesis work, titled "What happens in East-Germany? The demographic change and its relevance for the spatial development in the Baltic Sea Region", speaks of the change in Eastern Germany, stemming from its post-Socialism phase. The argument of reason for this phenomenon stems from the "undersupply of rural areas". This means that basic needs, like doctors, are harder to come by. The general public must commute to find a better practice. As Arvid Krüger states in his thesis:

"The phenomenon is dynamic: the more the population will decrease, the wider will be the area to gather the necessary number of people to arrange a certain infrastructure element, e.g. schools. The larger the catchment area of the certain infrastructure element, the more likely it is disappearing in mediate centres because they will actually downgrade into basic centres. This is part of a vicious circle: centres that loose population will loose their character as centres, i.e. their status as location of infrastructure."

Shrinking CIties

Of course, a major factor in this phenomenon stems from the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. According to the Shrinking Cities research, headed by Büro Philipp Oswalt in Berlin, "The privatisation of nationalised businesses was followed, in many cases, by their closure." Ironically, as the city centers are decreasing in population, the countrysides are beginning to grow.