Germany's Population: Turbulent Past, Uncertain Future

Heilig, G.K., Büttner, T., & Lutz, W. ORCID: (1990). Germany's Population: Turbulent Past, Uncertain Future. IIASA Research Report (Reprint). IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: RR-91-010. Reprinted from Population Bulletin, 45(4):1-46

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When the two Germanies were reunited in 1990, 16 million East Germans were added to the West German population, giving it a 20 million person advantage over Italy, France and the United Kingdom. This report traces the history of German population growth from the 1870s through World War II and up to the present. The authors examine the demographic trends of the new Germany and the prospects for future growth.

Until 1990, marriage, fertility, and mortality followed different paths in the two countries. The wealthier West German women delayed marriage and childbearing, for example, and West German men lived longer than East German men. But these differences may reflect the pronatalist policies, regressive politics, and sagging economy of the former German Democratic Republic. Unification may eliminate many of these differences.

Immigration -- which triggered the demise of East Germany -- has long played a crucial role in German demography. In recent decades, the influx of guestworkers from southern and eastern Europe has raised many sensitive issues for the public and policy makers.

What will the future bring? Even if immigration and fertility increase, Germany faces population decline in the long term. The social and economic problems associated with an aging population remain a major concern of German policymakers.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Research Report (Reprint))
Research Programs: World Population (POP)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 02:00
Last Modified: 05 Aug 2023 05:00

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