German population stagnates for first time since 2011
Initial estimates from the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) indicate that, for the first time since 2011, the population of Germany did not increase last year. This is largely due to lower net migration and more deaths.
No increase in German population
Initial figures released on Tuesday by Destatis revealed that the population of Germany stagnated at 83,2 million people in 2020. This is the first time in almost a decade that the country has recorded zero net population growth. Prior to 2020, Germany had witnessed nearly three unbroken decades of sustained population growth, with the years 1998 and 2003 to 2010 being the only exceptions.
According to Destatis, the reason for Germany’s sustained growth over the past 30 years is exclusively due to the fact that more people have immigrated to the country than emigrated. Without these immigration gains, the German population would have shrunk continuously from the year 1972 onwards, as there have been more deaths than births in the country ever since then.
Immigration to Germany declined significantly in 2020
The coronavirus pandemic has played a large part in the stagnation of the population. In 2020, there was a noticeable rise in the number of deaths, and early indications suggest that the number of births decreased compared to 2019. According to the initial estimates, around 755.000 to 775.000 babies were born in 2020, with 980.000 people dying over the course of the year.
Coronavirus in Germany has also had an effect on migration, mainly due to the restrictions put in place on travelling to curb the spread of the virus. Net immigration to Germany for 2020 is estimated between 180.000 to 240.000 people, much lower than the previous year’s total of 327.060. In fact, this will be the fifth year in a row that net migration has decreased since its highest ever value in 2015 (1.139.402).