Hats shrink considerably over time

Population forecast: Germany is shrinking a little - but not everywhere

Bonn (dpa) - According to a new forecast, Germany's population will decrease slightly by 2040. This is the conclusion of the Federal Institute for Building, Urban and Spatial Research (BBSR) in a current calculation.

For the year 2040, the experts assume a population of 81.9 million people. Compared to 2020, that would mean a decrease of around 1.3 million inhabitants, as the Federal Institute in Bonn announced.

According to the experts, the decline is therefore less than expected by many. "The main reason for the relatively stable development up to 2040 is immigration from abroad," the authors write in the analysis. They expect a maximum in 2024 with 83.2 million inhabitants. After that, the number continues to decrease. At the same time, the average age will increase - from 44.6 years in 2020 to 45.9 years in 2040.

According to the Federal Institute, more people would die in Germany than were born after we did before. The researchers estimate 17.4 million births between 2018 and 2040. However, there are 23.5 million deaths. "If Germany wants to keep its population roughly stable, this can only be achieved through immigration from outside due to the excess deaths," explained the head of the BBSR, Markus Eltges. There is currently a "corona kink". "From March to October 2020 alone, a total of 28 percent fewer people immigrated to Germany, according to initial estimates by the Federal Statistical Office," explained Eltges. The prognosis takes that into account.

According to the calculation, however, the differences depending on the region are quite significant. While economic growth is predicted above all in economically strong cities and their environs, the decline in population in structurally weak regions away from the metropolises could continue. Once again, great differences between East and West become clear. "Most of the urban and rural districts with increasing populations are in the old states," stated the Federal Institute. Above all there are many urban districts in which the number of children and young people will increase significantly by 2040 - for example Regensburg, Munich and Freiburg im Breisgau.

The researchers predict the strongest growth - with more than 14 percent by 2040 - in the Munich districts of Dachau, Erding and Ebersberg as well as Landshut and - as the only eastern German region at the top - Leipzig. Leipzig can therefore be seen as a lighthouse in East Germany. The city is predicted to have a particularly strong increase in the number of children and young people. "Only Potsdam (city) and Berlin from the new federal states can join the phalanx of the 50 strongest growth circles," says the forecast.

On the other side are the districts Oberspreewald-Lausitz, Anhalt-Bitterfeld, Greiz, Elbe-Elster, Altenburger Land and Mansfeld-Südharz as well as the Salzlandkreis - all located in eastern Germany. "Their population will decrease by at least 23 percent by 2040," writes the BBSR.

"A look into the future shows that the structurally weak regions are facing major challenges. In order to cope with these, an active structural policy is still required," said BBSR manager Eltges.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210309-99-746335 / 3

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