Population of Germany 2012
There are no accurate figures for the population of Germany in 2012, as a complete census has not been undertaken since 1987.
With its population of 81 million, Germany is now the largest country in the European Union, and the fifteenth largest country in the world. However, its birth rate is one of the lowest in the world and, if current trends continue, the population of Germany could well reduce to around 65-70 million over the next 50 years.
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 prioritised 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%.
You can see the movement from East to West dramatically illustrated in this map.
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 and today only two countries in the world have more immigrants in total than Germany – Russia and 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.
Religion in Germany
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 relgious belief.
Largest Cities in Germany
For a country with such a large population, Germany has relatively few large cities. In fact, only four of its cities have a population of over one million. Those cities are Berlin (3.4 million), Hamburg (1.8 million), Munich (1.4 million) and Cologne (1.0 million).
Here’s a full list of the ten largest cities in Germany.
|5||Frankfurt am Main||671,927|
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.
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.