Demographics of Germany

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The Demographics of Germany were determined also by a series of full Census in Germany, with the most recent held in 1987. Since reunification, German authorities rely on a micro census.

The demography of the Federal Republic of Germany is monitored by the "Statistisches Bundesamt" (Federal Statistical Office of Germany). The population of Germany is approximately 81,880,000, making it the 14th most populous country in the world. Germany's population is characterized by zero or declining growth,[1] with an aging population and smaller cohort of youths.

More than 16 million people are of non-German descent (first and second generation, including mixed heritage), about seven million of which are foreign residents. The largest ethnic group of non-German origin are the Turkish. Since the 1960s, West and later reunified Germany has been attracting migrants primarily from Southern and Eastern Europe as well as Turkey, many of whom (or their children) over time acquired German citizenship. While most of these migrations had an economic background, Germany has also been a prime destination for refugees from many developing countries, in part because its constitution long had a clause giving a 'right' to political asylum, but restrictions over the years have since made it less attractive.

Within Germany, there is a long history of East-to-West migrations, starting with the 19th century Ostflucht. After the World War II border shifts and expulsions, the Germans from Eastern Europe and the former eastern territories moved westward to post-war Germany. During the partition of Germany, many Germans from East Germany fled to West Germany for political and also economic reasons. Since Germany's reunification, there are ongoing migrations from the eastern New Länder to the western Old Länder for economic reasons.

Germany has one of the world's highest levels of education, technological development, and economic productivity. Since the end of World War II, the number of students entering universities has more than tripled, and the trade and technical schools are among the world's best. With a per capita income of about $27,000, Germany is a broadly middle class society. Germans also are very mobile; millions travel abroad each year. The social welfare system provides for universal health care, unemployment compensation, and other social programmes. Due to Germany's aging population and struggling economy, the welfare system came under a lot of strain in the 1990s. This led the government to push through a wide-ranging programme of belt-tightening reforms, Agenda 2010, including the labour market reforms known as Hartz I - IV.


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