Germany - Demographics


With its estimated population of 81.8 million in January 2010, Germany is the most populous country in the European Union and ranks as the 16th most populous country in the world. Its population density stands at 229.4 inhabitants per square kilometre. The overall life expectancy in Germany at birth is 80.19 years (77.93 years for males and 82.58 years for females). The fertility rate of 1.41 children born per woman (2011 estimates), or 8.33 births per 1000 inhabitants, is one of the lowest in the world. Since the 1970s, Germany's death rate has continuously exceeded its birth rate. The Federal Statistical Office of Germany forecast that the population will shrink to between 65 and 70 million by 2060 (depending on the level of net migration).

Germans by nationality make up 91% of the population of Germany. As of 2010, about seven million foreign citizens were registered in Germany, and 20% of the country's residents, or more than 16 million people, were of foreign or partially foreign descent (including persons descending or partially descending from ethnic German repatriates), 96% of whom lived in the former West Germany or Berlin.

In 2010, 2.3 million families with children under 18 years were living in Germany, in which at least one parent had foreign roots. They represented 29% of the total of 8.1 million families with minor children. Compared with 2005 – the year when the microcensus started to collect detailed information on the population with a migrant background – the proportion of migrant families has risen by 2 percentage points.

Most of the families with a migrant background live in the western part of Germany. In 2010, the proportion of migrant families in all families was 32% in the pre-unification territory of the Federal Republic. This figure was more than double that in the new Länder (including Berlin) where it stood at 15%.

Families with a migrant background more often have three or more minor children in the household than families without a migrant background. In 2010, about 15% of the families with a migrant background contained three or more minor children, as compared with just 9% of the families without a migrant background.

The United Nations Population Fund lists Germany as host to the third-highest number of international migrants worldwide, about 5% or 10 million of all 191 million migrants. As a consequence of restrictions to Germany's formerly rather unrestricted laws on asylum and immigration, the number of immigrants seeking asylum or claiming German ethnicity (mostly from the former Soviet Union) has been declining steadily since 2000. In 2009, 20% of the population had immigrant roots, the highest since 1945. As of 2008, the largest national group was from Turkey (2.5 million), followed by Italy (776,000) and Poland (687,000). About 3 million "Aussiedler"—ethnic Germans, mainly from the former eastern bloc—have resettled in Germany since 1987. Most ethnic minorities (especially those of non-European origin) reside in large urban areas like Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt Rhine-Main, Rhine-Ruhr, Rhine-Neckar and Munich. The percentage of non-Germans and immigrants is quite low in rural areas and small towns, especially in the former East German states of Brandenburg, Saxony and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

Ethnic makeup as of 2010:

Ethnic Group % of Germany's population population
European 88.0 71,935,000
Ethnic German 80.7 65,970,000
Polish 2.0 1,654,000
former Soviet Union (primarily Russian Germans, Russians and Jews) 1.7 1,400,000
European Other (most notably Southern Europeans, Western Europeans and former Yugoslavians) 3.6 3,000,000
Middle Eastern 5.2 4,260,000
Turkish 4.0 3,260,000
others (primarily Arabs and Iranians) 1.2 1,000,000
Asian (especially Vietnamese and Thai people) 2.0 1,634,000
Afro-German or Black African 1.0 817,150
Mixed or unspecified background 2.0 1,634,000
Other groups (primarily the Americas) 1.8 1,470,000
Total population 100 81,715,000

Germany has a number of large cities. The largest conurbation is the Rhine-Ruhr region (11.7 million as of 2008), including Düsseldorf (the capital of North Rhine-Westphalia), Cologne, Bonn, Dortmund, Essen, Duisburg, and Bochum.

Largest cities or towns of Germany
List of statistical offices in Germany 24 December 2010
Rank City name State Pop. Rank City name State Pop.



1 Berlin Berlin 3,471,756 11 Dresden Saxony 523,058


2 Hamburg Hamburg 1,786,448 12 Leipzig Saxony 522,883
3 Munich Bavaria 1,353,186 13 Hannover Lower Saxony 522,686
4 Cologne North Rhine-Westphalia 1,007,119 14 Nuremberg Bavaria 505,664
5 Frankfurt Hesse 688,664 15 Duisburg North Rhine-Westphalia 489,599
6 Stuttgart Baden-Württemberg 606,588 16 Bochum North Rhine-Westphalia 374,737
7 Düsseldorf North Rhine-Westphalia 598,786 17 Wuppertal North Rhine-Westphalia 349,721
8 Dortmund North Rhine-Westphalia 580,444 18 Bonn North Rhine-Westphalia 324,899
9 Essen North Rhine-Westphalia 574,635 19 Bielefeld North Rhine-Westphalia 323,270
10 Bremen Bremen (state) 547,340 20 Mannheim Baden-Württemberg 313,174

Read more about this topic:  Germany