Demographic trends are determined by four factors: the current population, births, deaths and net migration, i.e. the difference between immigration and emigration.

At present, there are some 82 million people living in Germany. The population is expected to grow to about 84 million over the next few years and only to drop slightly again in around 2030. The main cause of the imminent increase is high net immigration – although of the 2 million immigrants registered in the year 2015 only slightly over half were refugees.

Yet while Germany’s population is not shrinking, it is ageing, and this despite an influx of predominantly young people. In 2035 about 25 per cent of those living in Germany will be older than 67, as opposed to some 20 per cent today. With or without refugees the long-term care insurance, the labour market and the pay-as-you-go-financed pension scheme are bound to come under increasing pressure.

Learn moreShow less