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Germany finds population less than previously thought

June 25, 2024

Germany's population grew slightly less rapidly between 2011 and 2022 than previously assumed. While it did increase, a census found the country had fewer people than had been assumed.

Newborns in Germany
A census found the country had 1.4 million fewer people than assumedImage: Waltraud Grubitzsch/dpa/picture alliance

Germany's population was 82.7 million in a census published on Tuesday, with 1.4 million fewer residents than previously assumed.

The shortfall was particularly marked when it came to the foreign population, the country's Federal Statistical Office announced.

Women outnumber men

The figures reveal that the population grew by around 2.5 million between the 2011 census and the 2022 census — less than had been expected.

The census determines the population figures of all 10,786 municipalities in Germany. In 56% of those, there were at least one percent fewer people living when the census took place on May 15, 2022.

The deviation was particularly marked for Cologne, where 5.6% fewer people than assumed were living when the census took place.

According to the 2022 census, there are significantly more women (42.05 million) than men (40.72 million) living in Germany. 

Meanwhile the census suggests 43.1 million apartments are available to people — with an average of 94.4 square meters.

Who's going to care for Germany's aging population?

The basic rent is €7.28 (roughly $7.8) per square meter; with people living cheapest in Saxony-Anhalt at €5.38 and most expensive in Hamburg at €9.16.

Fewer foreigners than expected

The statistics counted 71.8 million citizens with German citizenship and 10.9 million foreigners. Meanwhile, 18.14 million people in Germany had a migration history.

The foreign population is about a million fewer than previously reported.

The President of the Bavarian State Office for Statistics, Thomas Gössl, said one theory for the shortfall was that some foreigners may not have deregistered in Germany before moving back abroad to spend their retirement. He also cited a high level of mobility in refugee movements.

The cut-off date for the new census data is shortly after Russia's attack on Ukraine, which triggered a large refugee movement.

rc/rmt (dpa, AFP, KNA, Reuters)