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Demographics of Germany

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The population of Germany, with a current population of over 80 million, is primarily German. There are about 7 million foreign residents, the largest single nationality group of whom are Turkish. Germany has 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 made it less attractive.

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 youths entering universities has more than tripled, and the trade and technical schools of the are among the world's best. With a per capita income level of about $25,000, Germany is a broadly middle class society. A generous social welfare system provides for universal health care, unemployment compensation, and other social needs. Germans also are mobile; millions travel abroad each year.

With unification on October 3, 1990, Germany began the major task of bringing the standard of living of Germans in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) up to that of western Germany. This will be a lengthy and difficult process due to the relative inefficiency of industrial enterprises in the former GDR, difficulties in resolving property ownership in eastern Germany, and the inadequate infrastructure and environmental damage that resulted from decades of communist rule. Since reunification, hundreds of thousands of former East Germans have migrated into western Germany to find work.

Drastic changes in the socioeconomic landscape brought about by reunification have resulted in troubling social problems. Economic uncertainty in eastern Germany is often cited as one factor contributing to extremist violence, primarily from the political right. Confusion about the causes of the current hardships and a need to place blame have found expression in harassment and violence by some Germans directed toward foreigners, particularly non-Europeans. The vast majority of Germans condemn such violence.

Population: 82,515,000 (2004, 1st quarter avg.)

Age structure: 0-14 years: 16% (male 6,679,930; female 6,333,110) 15-64 years: 68% (male 28,638,814; female 27,693,630) 65 years and over: 16% (male 5,133,121; female 8,318,803) (2000 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.0% (2003)

Birth rate: 8.71 births/1,000 population (2002)

Death rate: 10.20 deaths/1,000 population (2002)

Net migration rate: 4.01 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth:1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years:1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years:1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over:0.62 male(s)/female
total population:0.96 male(s)/female (2000 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 3.62 deaths/1,000 live births (2001)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 77.44 years
male: 74.3 years
female: 80.75 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.38 children born/woman (2000 est.)

Nationality: noun: German(s) adjective: German

Ethnic groups: German 91.5%, Turkish 2.4%, other 6.1% (made up largely of Serbo-Croatian, Italian, Russian, Greek, Polish, Spanish. There is a Danish minority in the most northern state (Schleswig-Holstein) and a Sorbic minority in Saxony.

Religions: Protestant 38%, Roman Catholic 34%, Muslim 1.7%, unaffiliated or other 26.3% (2001: Prot./RC 32% each)

Languages: German

Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 99% (1977 est.) male: NA% female: NA%

See also : Germany