Ladies′ Choice | Culture| Arts, music and lifestyle reporting from Germany | DW | 08.12.2001
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Ladies' Choice

In eastern Germany, women are in high demand. And that has nothing to do with their feminine charm and attractive appearance. Men simply out number women.


German rapper Sabrina Setlur has her choice of men, wherever she is

In a few years the situation in the former East Germany will be critical, at least for the male sex. Women, on the other hand, will have the pick of the lot: two men to every one woman.

At least that's what the population statistics are showing. And Germany's leading weekly magazine "Der Spiegel" picked up on the trend, publishing it in this week's website.

Demographic researchers have been following population trends in Germany for several decades, and according to them the percentage of men in a population increases proportionately to a total population decrease. In other words, a lower birth rate equals more men.

It may seem strange, but the facts show that since the beginning of the twentieth century, more boys have been born than girls. For every 105 men there are only 95 women.

The near negative population growth in Germany - one of the lowest in the western world - certainly doesn't help matters. But men are partly to blame for this. By selecting younger women, they reduce the number of potential partners, thereby excluding several still eligible "mothers" from bearing children.

In eastern Germany, a region strongly effected by employment emigration, the gender imbalance is expected to worsen over the next few years as more women head west in search of better jobs. On average twice as many young women move to western Germany as men, says sociology professor Bernhard Nauck from the Technical University in Chemnitz.

If the birthrate in the East stays as it is, Nauck predicts, in six to seven years there will be two men for every woman. "We can expect a situation like a hurricane rushing towards the coast," the professor says.

Behavior experts are warning that East German men could be in for tough competition. Only the best educated, financially secure men will have a chance of "winning" a wife.

It'll be survival of the fittest on the marriage market as the women hold out for the most lucrative partners. And if women don't like the selection, chances are they'll emigrate west for both men and jobs.