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Germany younger for first time since reunification

Chase Winter
June 13, 2017

The average age in Germany has fallen for the first time in two decades, according to a new statistical study. The drop in the average age was driven largely by an influx of young migrants from crisis regions.

Projekt mit dementen Senioren und Flüchtingskindern
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/B. Marks

The average age of residents in Germany at the end of 2015 dropped to 44 years and three months, the German statistics office said on Tuesday.

Infografik Average age in Germany ENG

That compared to an average age of 44 years and 4 months from the previous year.

"After 24 years of steady growth, the average population in Germany declined in 2015 for the first time since reunification," the statistics office said.

The decline was driven exclusively by non-German citizens, especially of people from Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iraq, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia und Syria. 

Read: Germany is not shrinking

An influx of migrants in 2014 and 2015 reduced the average age of people from so-called crisis countries registered in Germany by 3 years and one month, to 26 years and five months.

"The large influx of young people from these countries to Germany in 2015 led to a drop in the average age of the foreign population as well as of the population as a whole," the statistics office said.

The average age of non-German citizens as a whole dropped by 1 year and four months, to 37 years and 5 months.

Read: Investing in refugees pays off, study finds

However, the average age of German citizens continued to increase, rising by two months to 45 years at the end of 2015 compared to the previous year.

The statistics office noted that the effect of immigration on the average age of people living in Germany could be underestimated due to difficulties registering all those seeking asylum in 2015.

Nearly a million refugees mostly from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan arrived in Germany in 2015, around 30 percent of whom were minors.