Germany Demography and Economic Geography in the Early 2000’s

Germany Demography and Economic Geography in the Early 2000's

Central European state. At the 2011 census there were 80,219,695 residents, confirming the role of Germany as by far the most populous country in the European Union at 28, lower, on a continental scale, only to Russia. Nonetheless, according to the mature profile typical of more developed countries, the demographic trend is static or slightly growing thanks to the substantial presence of foreign communities (80.7 million at the end of 2013; 82,652,256 residents In 2014, according to an estimate UNDESA, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs). In the long run, the demographic profile is in decline: in 2001 there were 82.4 million residents, with an average annual growth of + 0.1% in the 2000s, but, again according to an UNDESA projection, they will become 81.8 million in 2020. The deficit is therefore in the negative natural balance year after year, with a birth rate that has not reached 9 ‰ since 2001 (8.4 ‰ estimated in 2014). This is a long-term trend as the number of children per woman has fluctuated to low values ​​in recent decades (1.43 in 2014) and has not reached the replacement level since 1969 (2.21). On the contrary, the death rate has increased in recent years reaching 11.2% in 2014, the 31st world value, behind only Russia among the G20s. Life expectancy is also in line with the profile of the more developed countries, which has reached 80, 4 years on average (2014). This is a figure that places the country only in 28th place in this special hierarchy, behind the main European states. Population aging is one of the highest in OECD countries (44.2 years on average). The latest census also confirmed a distribution that generates strong polarizations with high densities in the three lander with more than 10 million residents: North Rhine-Westphalia (17.5 million, which is home to the Ruhr region, one of the richest areas in the country), Bavaria (12.5 million) and Baden-Württenberg (10.5 million millions). Less populated are the eastern landers, which, decades after reunification, still suffer from a weaker socio-economic condition, showing worrying phenomena of social unease. The urban phenomenon, the historical backbone of the German economy, brings together 74% of the total population.

A dense and balanced urban network is also confirmed by the 2011 data, when the municipalities that exceeded 50,000 residents there were 188, of which 81 were over 100,000 presences.

There are four cities with millions of residents: Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Cologne. The capital, a city-state, is home to 3.5 million residents. (second only to London as the most populous city in Europe) and has assumed a new centrality during the new millennium, also making tourism one of the main economic sources; Hamburg, 1.8 million residents, in keeping with its Hanseatic past, is one of the capitals of the German economy, hosting the most important German port. Much weaker is the urbanization of the eastern landers, which registers elements of a comparable urban network only in Saxony on the axis between Leipzig and Dresden (both cities with just over 500,000 residents).

Economic and social indicators

The economic dynamism of Germany required a significant contribution in terms of foreign workforce from the post-war period to today, through different flows coming from different migratory systems. A phenomenon – long denied with the use of the term gastarbeiter, guest worker – who gave a multi-ethnic connotation to the country, an aspect of which full awareness was taken with the 1999 law (which grants naturalization to foreigners residing in Germany for at least eight years) and whose results are legible in the composition of national sports teams. A lesser known, but more effective testimony in the direction of change in German society is the access to the 2013 elections of 5.6 million people of foreign origin. According to the statistical institute Destatis, at the end of 2013 there were 7.6 million foreigners regularly present (with an incidence on the total population of 9.4%), recording a record increase of about 419,000 people for the second consecutive year (5.8% more than in 2012 than with around 282. 800 people marked an increase of 4.1% compared to the 2011 census), being the most consistent growth since 1993. A figure attributable to an above-average immigration rate, thanks to the stability shown by the German economy even in the years of crisis , in addition to the growing number of births to families of foreigners. The most present nationalities are Turkish (3.3 million), those from Poland, Russia and Italy. Immigration mainly affects the large metropolises and urban areas of the West, while in the lander of the former GDR has little relevant values. The steadily increasing pressure comes from the so-called states of the new Europe, those that entered the European Union with the enlargements that took place from 2004 onwards, which recorded the most consistent percentage increases, in particular Hungarians, Bulgarians and Rumanians. With the fall of the free movement bloc for the workers of these last two countries, the concerns of a part of the German people have increased, as are the phenomena of discrimination and prejudice. In general, despite the inconveniences of the landers Oriental, the country has a high quality of life, ranking fifth in the human development index (0.911 in 2013), recording a decent expenditure on education and training (5.7% of GDP in 2013).

Germany Demography and Economic Geography in the Early 2000's