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Press release 153 / 2015-04-28: New projection of Germany's population by 2060

WIESBADEN – In the long term, a decline in Germany's population is inevitable. The number of deaths will increasingly exceed the number of births. The positive balance of immigration into and emigration from Germany cannot close this gap for good. As the President of the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), Roderich Egeler, stated at a press conference to present the results of the 13th coordinated population projection, the country's 2013 population of 80.8 million was expected to increase, depending on the assumed extent of net immigration, over a period of five to seven years and to decline afterwards. He continued that the population figure would be below 2013 levels not before 2023.  In 2060, the population size would be 67.6 million according to a lower and 73.1 million according to a higher immigration variant. 

However, long-term population projections are no forecasts. They provide 'if-then statements' and show how the population and its structure would change based on certain assumptions. The results shown here were obtained by two of the total of eight variants included in the 13th coordinated population projection. These variants describe the development until 2060 based on the assumptions that the average annual birth rate will be 1.4 children per women, with the average age at birth rising; life expectancy will increase by seven years (men) and six years (women); and migration will develop according to two different assumptions. The first migration assumption indicates a decline in net annual immigration from the initially very high level of 500,000 to 100,000 over a period of six years until 2021. Afterwards net migration will remain at 100,000 per year. The second scenario assumes that net annual migration will fall to 200,000 by 2021 and afterwards remain at that level. These variants are referred to as "Continued trend based on lower immigration" (Variant 1) and "Continued trend based on higher immigration" (Variant 2) in all documents of this press conference and on the Destatis web pages. 

In particular, the working-age population will shrink tremendously. The number of people aged 20 to 64 (2013: 49 million) will decline markedly from 2020. Depending on net immigration, it will amount to roughly 34 or 38 million (–30% or –23%, respectively) in 2060. The proportion of people aged 20 to 64 to the total population was 61% in 2013. It will fall to approximately 51% or 52% in 2060. If the working age ends at 67 instead of 65, the relevant number will range roughly between 36 and 40 million in 2060.

The younger population aged under 20 will also decline from currently 15 million to 11 or 12 million in 2060 (–26% or –18%). The proportion of younger people to the total population will fall from 18% to 16%.

By contrast, the number of people aged 65 and over will continue to grow. This age group will especially increase over the next 20 years when the baby boom generation will successively reach this age. In 2060, the number of people aged 65 and over will range between 22 and 23 million. Currently, every fifth person belongs to this age group (2013: 21%), while it will be every third person in 2060 (32% or 33%).

Demographic ageing is particularly reflected by the number of the oldest seniors. In 2013, the number of people aged 80 and over amounted to 4.4 million in Germany. In 2060, this number will be approximately twice as high as today (total of 9 million). In 2013, the oldest seniors made up roughly 5% of the total population. The proportion will increase to 12% or 13% by 2060. Four of ten people aged 65 and over will be 80 or older by that time. 

More information on the assumptions and results of the 13th coordinated population projection is available here. At www.destatis.de/bevoelkerungspyramide, an animated population pyramid can be accessed for serveral variants.

Detailed documents relating to the press conference are available here (only in german)

For further information:
Reinhold Zahn,
tel: +49 611 75 2242,
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