EU Economy
German population falls and estimated number of foreign residents
By Finfacts Team
May 31, 2013 - 4:51 PM

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According to the 2011 Census results published today, 80.2m inhabitants lived in Germany on 9 May 2011. “Compared with the number of inhabitants applicable so far on the basis of official intercensal population updates, there were about 1.5m fewer inhabitants in Germany on the census reference date than assumed so far”, said Roderich Egeler, head of Destatis, the federal statistics office, at a press conference held in Berlin today to present the results of the 2011 Census. On 9 May 2011, about 74m (92.3%) of the approximately 80.2m inhabitants had the German citizenship. Just under 6.2m inhabitants (7.7%) had a foreign citizenship.

Comparing the census results with the population figures used so far on the basis of official intercensal population updates shows a relatively small difference (–0.6% or –428,000 people) for Germans. For foreigners, however, the difference in the number of inhabitants was –14.9%, which is nearly 1.1m fewer people than assumed so far.

In May 2011, there were just under 34,000 registered same-sex partnerships in Germany, 40% of which consisting of women. A total 5,700 children lived in families with parents living in a registered same-sex partnership, most of them (86%) in female same-sex partnerships.

At the time of the census, about 40m people in Germany were in employment, 53.2% men and 46.8% women. The numbers of persons in employment obtained basically confirm the results of the 2011 microcensus. The employment/population ratio, that is, the proportion of persons in employment aged 15 to 74 years in the population of the same age, was 64.5%. 2.1m people were unemployed.

At the census reference date, 35.6% of those aged over 15 years had a secondary general school certificate, 26.9% an intermediate school or equivalent certificate and 28.3% a higher education entrance qualification. 4.4% were in school education at the census reference date. According to the census results, 4.7% of the population aged over 15 had no school certificate, that is 3.2m people.

In early May 2011, Destatis says a total 15m persons with a migrant background lived in Germany; this is just under 19% of the population. In the 2011 Census, persons with a migrant background are defined to comprise all foreigners and all Germans who have immigrated to today’s territory of the Federal Republic of Germany after 1955 or who have at least one parent who has immigrated after 1955.

This proportion varies strongly between the Länder. The highest proportion in the western Länder was recorded for Hamburg (27.5%), the lowest for Schleswig-Holstein (11.7%). In all eastern Länder, the share of people with a migrant background was under 5%.  At reference date 9 May 2011, in Germany, there were 19.1m buildings with residential space and 10,000 inhabited accommodations – these are, for example, portacabins, summerhouses and permanently anchored houseboats. The total number of dwellings was 41.3m. In buildings with residential space, excluding residential establishments and excluding inhabited accommodations, there were 40.8m dwellings – that was 500,000 more dwellings than shown by the intercensal updates of the stock of dwellings as used so far.

Traditionally, when compared at an international level, Germany has been characterised by a low owner-occupier rate, that is, the proportion of inhabited dwellings that are occupied by the owners themselves. Although the owner-occupier rate has risen slowly but continuously over the last few years – it stood at 45.8% at the census reference date –, the majority of households still lived in rented dwellings.

In residential buildings, the vacancy rate in the whole of Germany is 4.4% (excluding residential establishments), although in eastern Germany it is higher than in the western part. 

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