Germany Population 2015

Germany is a western-central European country bordered by Poland, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Austria, France, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Germany is the most populous country in the European Union with an estimated 2015 population of 82.5 million, which ranks 16th in the world.

Germany Population 2015

Despite a drop in the country's growth rate, it's 2015 population is now estimated at 82.5 million, which makes Germany the 16th most populous country. It's also the largest country in the European Union. Germany has a population density of about 226/square kilometer (583/square mile), which ranks 58th in the world.

East versus West

When East Germany and West Germany were re-united in 1990, the population of East Germany was around 16.1 million people.

Although living standards have improved dramatically in the East over the past 20 years, it still lags behind in economic development and, as a result, many people head West in search of better job opportunties.

Pollution is also a massive legacy of the East German era, where industrial output was prioritized more highly than the environment, and many seek to move simply for a better quality of life.

The New York Times reports that around 1.7 million people have left East Germany since 1990 -- that's a decrease in population of just over 10%.

Immigration into Germany

Of all the 27 European Union states, Germany has the highest percentage of immigrants in its population. Just under 10 million people living in Germany today were born outside of Germany -- that's about 12% of the German population. Most immigrants come from other European countries, particularly from Turkey, Russia, Poland and Italy. Germany is the second most popular destination for immigrants in the world after the United States.

The German Government has been keen to encourage immigration over the past fifty years -- partly to address longer term demographic problems in Germany, such as its low birth rate, and partly to address shorter term labor shortages.

Germany Demographics

There are four groups considered "national minorities," which means their ancestors lived in their regions for many centuries. These groups are the Sorbs, Danes, Frisians, and the Roma and Sinti. There are about 50,000 Danes in the northernmost region of Germany. The Sorbs, who are a Slavic people, live in the Lustia region. There are large populations of Frisians in Lower Saxony and the western coast of Schleswig-Holstein.

About 5 million Germans are living abroad.

The majority of Germans are Christian, either Roman Catholic (30.0%) or Protestant (29.9%), although 1.6% of the population are also Orthodox Christians. Islam is the second largest religion in Germany – about 4-5% of Germans are adherents.

The largest single group, however, is non-believers, who make up 34.1% of the population. The number of atheists and agnostics is far higher in Eastern Germany than in Western Germany, largely because of the Communist East German state's policy of discouraging religous belief.

Largest Cities in Germany

Germany is divided into 16 states, referred to collectively as Länder, and each state has its own constitution and remains fairly autonomous. Each state also has its own capital. Despite its large population, Germany has relatively few large cities, and only four have a population over 1 million: Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Cologne.

Still, these cities are much larger when the metropolitan area is taken into account. Hamburg, for example, has a city population of 1.8 million as of 2012, but its metropolitan area is home to more than 5 million. Düsseldorf, the 7th largest city in Germany, has a population of close to 600,000, but its metropolitan area is home to over 11.3 million.

Here's a full list of the ten largest cities in Germany.

RankCityPopulation
1Berlin 3,439,100
2Hamburg 1,769,117
3Munich 1,330,440
4Cologne 998,105
5Frankfurt am Main 671,927
6Stuttgart 600,068
7Düsseldorf 586,217
8Dortmund 581,308
9Essen 576,259
10Bremen 547,685

Germany is home to a large number of smaller cities and towns, however, and in total there are currently 82 cities with a population of more than 100,000 people.

German Census

Censuses have only been intermittently conducted in Germany, and the last one took place in 1987. Instead, the German Government relies on extrapolations from sample data collected from a small percentage (around 1%) of the population. Still, Germany did participate in the EU-wide census in 2011, which gave much-needed insight into the country's population.

Germany Population Growth

The country is now spending about $265 million every year on family subsidies in an attempt to reverse this trend, with little success. Germany has many issues to overcome, including attitudes in the country where working women with children are dubbed "raven mothers" with an implication of neglectfulness and immigrants are not always welcomed with open arms.

Some experts worry that the country has waited too long to try to address its population problem, and raising fertility rates have proven difficult. Giving money to families and tax breaks for stay-at-home mothers and married couples has done little, and demographers believe expanding after-school and day care programs would be a better investment for the country.

The country will also need to start bringing in more immigrants to fill hundreds of thousands of vacant skilled jobs.

Germany is a representation of the declining fertility rates Europe has seen over the past few decades, and Germany found that it had lost 1.5 million people in its most recent census. This news was a bit of a surprise to the country, which had not conducted a single census since its reunification, even after the Berlin Wall fell in 1989. It seems Germany missed this population loss because its people value privacy, and the last census in 1987 was very strongly opposed, and the one in 2011 was only done because it was required by the European Union.

Most of the 1.5 million who disappeared were migrants, who apparently did not deregister when they left the country, and thus lived on in records. Germany was found to have 1.1 million fewer foreigners than it thought, and 428,000 fewer Germans.

Germany Population Clock
What is the population of Germany (as of [[date]])? [[getCurrentPopulation()]]
Last UN Estimate (July 1, 2015) [[getLastEstimate()]]
Births Per Day 9,719
Deaths Per Day 12,953
Net Migrations Per Day 1,370
Net Change Per Day -1,864
Population Change Since January 1st [[getPopChangeThisYear()]]
  • Net [[getIncreaseOrDecrease()]] of 1 person every [[getDurationPerPerson()]]

  • Population estimated based on interpolation of World Population Prospects data.

Germany Population Indicators
Indicator Value World Ranking
Median (Average) Age 46.3 years 2nd
Crude Birth Rate 8.629 births/thousand 189th
Crude Death Rate 11.5 deaths/thousand 30th
Crude Net Migration Rate 1.216 people/thousand 48th
Life Expectancy (Both Sexes) 81.44 years 20th
Life Expectancy (Male) 79.09 years 21st
Life Expectancy (Female) 83.78 years 18th
Total Fertility Rate 1.462 children/woman 178th
Net Reproduction Rate 0.705 surviving daughters/woman 177th
Sex Ratio At Birth 1.058 males per female 50th
Infant Mortality Rate 2.714 deaths/1,000 live births 177th
Under Five Mortality 3.293 deaths/thousand 178th
Mean Age at Childbearing 31.006 years 14th

Population Data via United Nations WPP

Germany Population Growth

Germany is currenty fighting a major population drop, and many towns that were thriving just a few decades ago are now filled with vacant homes that may never be sold. Germany's death rate has been higher than its birth rate since the 1970s.

It's estimated that the country will shrink another 19% by 2060 to just 66 million. With a birth rate that's one of the lowest in the world, the population of Germany could well drop to around 65-70 million over the next 50 years.

Data Sources
  1. World Population Prospects - Global demographic estimates and projections by the United Nations