Germany could have 86 million people by 2030, report claims

Deutsche Bank Research has revealed that Germany is experiencing its highest influx of newcomers since 1990.

Germany could have 86 million people by 2030, report claims
People stand in front of Berlin's Office for Immigration in May 2022. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Britta Pedersen

If researchers are right, Germany’s population in 2030 will be 86 million, an increase of about five million over 2011 numbers. Although the country’s low birth rate has risen slightly in recent years, immigration and newcomers make up for most of that bump.

Around 329,000 people moved to Germany last year. That’s similar to the numbers seen before the pandemic. In the last few months of 2021, refugees from Syria and Afghanistan made up a considerable part of the total, according to researchers.

Deutsche Bank projects that number will be much higher this year, and are already predicting that 1.3 million Ukrainians will have come to Germany over the course of 2022 as Russia wages war on their homeland.

Analysts also reckon that a smaller, but still significant number of Ukrainians—about 260,000—will come to Germany in 2023.

That brings up two big questions: firstly, how long the war will last and secondly, whether Ukrainians who fled to Germany will end up staying long-term.

Report authors say Ukrainians in particular are well-placed to find jobs in Germany due to their relatively high qualifications and the country’s skilled labour shortage. About half a million skilled labour jobs in Germany are unfilled in everything from social work to education and information technology.

READ ALSO: Germany looks to foreign workers to ease ‘dramatic’ labour shortage

The Deutschland Monitor, as the report is called, also highlighted a few other notable findings.

Arrivals from Syria, Romania, and Afghanistan made up the top three in 2021.

In fourth spot, almost 24,000 new arrivals in Germany in 2021 came from India. Researchers say Berlin’s largely English-speaking start-up scene is particularly attractive to skilled technology jobseekers.

Researchers say that, in general, the report is a positive news story—with economic boosts expected that could help to address Germany’s skilled labour shortage.

However, the report cautions of the risk that an increasing population will put further pressure on the housing market.

READ ALSO: Energy crisis to labour shortage: Five challenges facing Germany right now

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members


INTERVIEW: Why newcomers in Germany have a hard time getting started

Many foreigners are struggling to tackle bureaucracy and find a place to live when they move to German cities. The Local's Germany in Focus podcast spoke to an expert who works with international residents to find out why things are so bad at the moment.

INTERVIEW: Why newcomers in Germany have a hard time getting started

Kathleen Parker, who’s originally from Queensland, Australia, has been helping international residents get settled in Germany since 2012 through her business Red Tape Translation.

But she says coming to the Bundesrepublik as a foreigner has actually gotten “harder and not easier” over the past decade.

“When I started [my work], apartments were still available,” Parker told The Local’s Germany in Focus podcast.  “You could still walk into public offices and get things done without having an appointment months in advance. Costs were lower and I also don’t think digitalisation has progressed much in the last 10 years.”

Parker’s observations come on the heels of a recently published InterNations survey, which ranked Germany as the most difficult country for fresh arrivals, primarily due to lack of affordable housing, unyielding bureaucracy and limited digital infrastructure. 

READ ALSO: Germany ranked ‘most difficult country’ for foreign residents to get started

Survey respondents also said it’s particularly hard to get by in Germany without speaking the language. Parker can vouch for this, as she frequently accompanies newcomers to places like the Ausländerbehörde (foreigner’s office) to interpret for them.

‘Finding housing is hard’

Yet finding housing is the number one challenge Parker sees facing newly arrived international residents.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re a single high-earner or a freelancer or family,” said Parker. “It’s just hard.”

She gave the example of one Indian family she knows in Berlin who have been searching for long-term housing for almost a year, meaning that “they’ve been jumping from one temporary unfurnished apartment to the next”.

She also sees internationals struggling with long, seemingly unending waiting times for residency permits. She gave the example of a South Korean freelancer who had to make eight visits before getting her Aufenthaltstitel was approved, or an American student who finished her course of study before she could renew her student visa. 

PODCAST: Is Germany really one of the hardest countries to start a new life in?

Immigration office Berlin

People wait outside of an immigration office in Berlin. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Britta Pedersen

The slow processing times can be partially attributed to the many people moving to Germany in recent months, said Parker, either by necessity or choice.

“There are just more people and fewer staff: that’s the biggest crisis that’s happening all over Germany.”

READ ALSO: ‘Traumatising’: Foreign residents share stories from German immigration offices

Parker suggested that one reason for too few staff is that the job of a caseworker in German bureaucratic offices is stressful and may not be well paid. 

The position also tends to have a high turnover rate, meaning one foreigner could go through a couple caseworkers before getting their application processed.

‘Moments of beauty’

Despite these bureaucratic challenges, Parker says that she’s seen several “moments of beauty”.

“I think the treatment depends on the individual caseworker and how overloaded they are with work themselves,” she added.

Within 24 hours in the last week Parker told the Germany in Focus podcast that she saw two positive experiences at the immigration office in Berlin.

In one, “a caseworker went out of their way to make sure the applicant was addressed with their preferred pronouns despite what appeared on their passport”.

In another, “there was a caseworker in training that showed compassion to a client I took – they really made an effort to help her”.

There’s also a glimmer of hope on a broader scale: Germany is currently mulling legislation to make it easier for skilled workers to come to the country, even with no to little German, and more easily recognise foreign credentials. 

“It’s getting easier to get your qualifications recognised so you can be seen as a skilled worker in Germany,” said Parker. “But Germany’s still not great at recognising skills if they’re not on a piece of paper with a stamp on it.”