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Juliane Roloff and Karl Schwarz (2002)

2001 Report on the Demographic Situation in Germany Including the Part B "Socio-economic Structures of the Foreign Population"*

In: Zeitschrift für Bevölkerungswissenschaft, Vol. 27, 1/2002, p. 3-68, Opladen: Verlag Leske + Budrich, ISSN: 0340-2398

Part A

This 2001 Report on the demographic situation in Germany describes and compares the trends among the German and foreign populations.

82.2 million people lived in the Federal Republic of Germany at the start of 2000, 7.3 million of whom were foreigners. The vast majority of the foreigners lived in Western Germany.

The marriage rates, including those of first marriages, have risen for the first time since 1991. The average age at first marriage has continued to rise, reaching roughly 31 among men in 1999, and roughly 28 among women. The number of marriages between German partners and those between German women and foreign men fell during the period from 1991 to 1999. By contrast, marriages between foreign partners and between German men and foreign women became more common.

A rising tendency towards divorce has been observable for years both among both Germans and foreigners. The number of marriages dissolved in which both partners are German is much higher than in the case of "purely" foreign marriages. Of marriages with foreign participation, those between German women and foreigners were most likely to be dissolved.

In March 1999, the Microcensus showed 2.1 million non-marital communities. Almost all non-marital communities were composed of two German partners.

The number of live births continued to fall in 1999. The pattern of development continues to differ widely in this respect between Western and Eastern Germany: Since 1994, the New Länder (including East Berlin) have registered a continual increase in their birth rates; the number of live births is still falling in the former Federal territory. In spite of continuing increases in the number and the rate of children born out of wedlock, both with German and with foreign nationality, the majority of children are still born in marriage. The level of births remains low, at 1.4 children per woman. Birth rates are in decline among foreign mothers, but remain higher than those of German mothers (1.8 as against 1.3 children per woman).

Life expectancy has continued to increase among men and women. This includes an ongoing trend towards closing the gap between Western and Eastern Germany.

The 1999 emigration balance included roughly 42 % of Germans. The migration surplus of foreigners which was registered once again after two years was a result in particular of a high level of immigration from Asia. Of the 248,200 persons naturalised in 1999, 58 % were foreign.

The foreign population is still younger than their German counterparts. One may however anticipate the proportion of the elderly to grow in the decades to come, as among Germans.

Part B

Basing itself on the latest data, the article relates to the structure of marriage and families, labour force participation, school attendance and professional training, as well as the income of foreigners and Germans.

Only 10 % of foreigners live alone, as against 16 % of the German population, but 80 % of foreigners, as against only 67 % of Germans, live together as married couples. Roughly 800,000, or 4 %, of marriages in Germany are between Germans and foreigners.

Attendance by foreigners at secondary school can be regarded as satisfactory. However, foreigners are significantly underrepresented at higher education institutes.

The labour force participation of foreigners has been lower than that of the German population for years. This applies to female foreigners in particular. Unemployment among foreign inhabitants is almost twice that of the native population. Expressed as a percentage, the share of wage-earners among foreigners in gainful employment is almost twice as high as that of the native population. By contrast, as a percentage almost as many foreigners as Germans work on a self-employed basis.

The average net incomes of single foreigners and of foreign married couples with children are far below the comparable incomes of Germans in gainful employment. Particular disadvantages derive from the high rate of unemployment, and among some groups of foreigners a high number of children.

* Original title: Bericht 2001 über die demographische Lage in Deutschland mit dem Teil B „Sozio-ökonomische Strukturen der ausländischen Bevölkerung“ (full text in German only)

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