Germany had at least 84.3 million inhabitants at the end of 2022, according to an initial estimate by the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) – and thus more than ever before at the end of a year. Compared to the same time last year, the population increased by 1.1 million, the Wiesbaden authorities announced.
The reason for the strong growth is net immigration at a record level, e.g Refugees from Ukraine. According to the estimate, 1.42 to 1.45 million more people came to Germany last year than moved abroad. Net immigration in 2022 was four times that of the previous year (2021: almost 330,000) and was higher than at any time since the time series began in 1950.
Not only did many war refugees come from the Ukraine, they too immigration of people of other nationalities have increased significantly, explained Destatis. In the three decades since German unification, Germany’s population had mostly grown, according to the Federal Statistical Office. The only exceptions were the years 1998 and 2003 to 2010.
Population growth has always resulted solely from the fact that more people have immigrated than emigrated. “Without net immigration, the population would have been shrinking since 1972, since every year since then more people have died than were born,” said Destatis.
The number of births is falling
A decline in the number of births and more deaths also had a dampening effect on population growth last year. Based on the reports already available from the registry offices, the number of births in 2022 fell by around seven percent compared to the previous year and is estimated to be between 735,000 and 745,000 (2021: around 795,000). The number of deaths, on the other hand, rose by around four percent to around 1.06 million (2021: 1.02 million).
The information is provisional population development in 2022 onwards. According to Destatis, the final results will be published in the summer of 2023.