Number of pensioners in Germany to rise 22 percent by 2035

Number of pensioners in Germany to rise 22 percent by 2035

Demographic change in Germany is becoming more and more visible. According to new estimates from the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), the number of people above retirement age in Germany is expected to rise by 22 percent by 2035.

46 pensioners for every 100 working people by 2035

Destatis said that the number of people aged 67 and over in Germany will increase by 22 percent between 2020 and 2035, from 16 million to more than 20 million. They calculated this from the results of a medium-term population projection that looked at how pandemic-related changes could influence the pace of demographic change over the coming years. 

Current calculations show that the ratio of retirement-age people (67 years or older) to people working (aged 20 to 66 years) will shift considerably in the future. Depending on the level of net migration, by 2035 there could be as many as 46 people aged 67 and over for every 100 people aged between 20 and 66. In 2020, this so-called “old-age quotient” was 31. 

Germany needs 480.000 migrants a year to balance population

In the western federal states, the number of older people will increase particularly sharply over the next 15 years, increasing by 25 percent so that by 2035, between 23 and 24 percent of the population will be aged 67 or older. In the eastern states - where the population is already significantly older - the increase is likely to be less severe, around 13 to 14 percent, so that 28 to 29 percent of the population will be aged above 67 by 2035.

At the same time, the number of working-age people in Germany is expected to fall significantly by 2035, since the so-called “baby boom” cohorts will begin to reach retirement age in the 2020s, without there being adequate numbers of working-age people to replace them. In the western states, the working-age population is expected to decline by 7 to 11 percent by 2035; in the eastern states, the decline could be as much as 12 to 15 percent. 

In order to compensate for this, Destatis said that net migration would have to reach an average of 480.000 people per year, including at least 300.000 people aged between 20 and 40 years old. In 2020, net migration fell for the fifth year in a row, to around 220.000 people. 



Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

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