Germany Demographics

What is the population of Germany?

Population 80,159,662
Population Growth Rate -0.19%
Urban Population 73.9%
Population in Major Urban Areas BERLIN (capital) 3.462 million; Hamburg 1.796 million; Munich 1.364 million; Cologne 1.006 million
Nationality Noun German(s)
Nationality Adjective German
Ethnic Groups German 91.5%, Turkish 2.4%, other 6.1% (made up largely of Greek, Italian, Polish, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, and Spanish)
Languages Spoken German
Language Note German is the official language of Germany. However, the German taught in school and used in the media is often not the German spoken daily. Various dialects have a strong influence in most areas. English is widely understood and many Germans from former East Germany speak Russian.

Germany Learning

What is school like in Germany?


School buildings themselves may range from classic old buildings with great traditions and heritage to newly constructed buildings with the latest architecture. But they are always kept clean and are viewed as an important part of the local culture. Because of the cultural and governmental support given to schools, educational issues, in general, are not treated lightly.

In the classrooms, teachers are highly regarded, but the teacher-student and teacher-parent relationship can be somewhat casual and relaxed.

Computers play a big role in German education. Students are expected to use them to do homework, conduct research on the Internet, and may even learn to write their own programs in classes called “Informatics.”

Education Culture

Education is very important in Germany. It was one of the first, if not the very first, countries in the world to provide compulsory, free education to its children, beginning in the 18th century by command of the King of Prussia. Germany has a 99% literacy rate for people over the age of 15.

Today, the schools are overseen primarily by the German states, with little federal government influence. Teachers are hired by the Ministry of Education and, once they prove themselves for a given time period, are essentially hired for life. The teachers participate in the administration of each school, and the local town hires the janitorial and secretarial staff. Students help to clean up the classrooms and surrounding grounds. In school, as in much of German culture, cleanliness and order are important.

It is interesting to note that in September 2006, Germany disallowed families to home school their children.


School uniforms are not required for children in Germany. They wear whatever they want, similar to the dress code for most schools in the United States.

Kindergarten is available for those who want it for children from age 3 to age 6. Grundschule (elementary school) begins at age 6 and lasts for 4 years. Although private schools are available, most children attend state-sponsored schools because they are free, and private schools require additional tuition and administrative costs. At age 10, a child has one of four basic educational options, depending on aptitude: Hauptschule (the least academic, it goes until grade 9), Realschule (until grade 10), Gymnasium (until grade 12 or 13; this is the primary track for students planning on university studies), or Gesamtschule (until grade 10, with all three of the other “tracks” available). Depending on the state, either the teachers or the parents in consultation with the teachers have the final say on which track each child should follow. After all but Gymnasium, students typically enroll in a vocational school where they are trained using a combination of on-the-job training and two days a week in class. Gymnasium is capped off by taking a test (called Abitur) that determines whether a student may continue on to university studies, which are also free to those who qualify to attend.

The school year usually begins around mid-August and is divided into two semesters. Students typically have 12 weeks of holidays—6 in the summer, 2 at Christmastime, and the rest divided between spring (usually around Easter) and autumn (when children were often required to help with the harvest in days gone by). In some states, school is in session six days a week, Sunday being the only free day.

School normally starts at 8:00 a.m. and is often finished by noon for the younger classes and by 1:30 for children over the age of ten. There is usually a 5-, 10-, or 15-minute break after each subject (usually taught for 45 minutes), but students do not move to another class for the next subject. Instead, they stay in the same “homeroom,” and the teachers rotate to the students.

Some elementary schools begin teaching English as early as the first or second grade. At each secondary school, students usually study English for five years as a basic requirement. Some students will also study another language, depending on the state’s requirements. These other languages include French, Latin, Polish, Spanish, Italian, Russian, and ancient Greek. Because each state controls its own curriculum, moving from one state to another can be very difficult for children.

Grading is on a 6-point scale, with 1 being excellent and 6 being failing, or insufficient. Students who get a 6 are often required to repeat the grade level (approximately 5% of the students each year).

To School

Students often walk, ride bikes, or take advantage of the public transportation systems available throughout the country. These include buses, streetcars, and trains.

Germany Health Information

What are the health conditions in Germany?

Contraceptive Prevalence Rate - female 15-49 66.2%
Contraceptive Prevalence - note Note: percent of women aged 18-49
Death Rate - deaths/1,000 population 11.17
Drinking Water Source - percent of rural population improved 100%
Drinking Water Source - percent of urban population improved 100%
Health Expenditures - percent of GDP 11.1%
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 0.1%
HIV/Aids Deaths 950
Hospital Bed Density - beds/1,000 population 8.3
Infant Mortality Rate - female deaths/1,000 live births 3.17
Infant Mortality Rate - male deaths/1,000 live births 3.78
Infant Mortality Rate - total deaths/1,000 live births 3.48
Maternal Mortality Rate - deaths/100,000 live births 7
Mean Age for Mother's First Birth 28.9
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 25.1%
People Living with HIV/AIDS 67,000
Physicians Density - physicians/1,000 population 3.69
Sanitation Facility Access - percent of urban population improved 100%
Sanitation Facility Access - percent of rural population improved 100%
Total Fertility Rate - children born/woman 1.42
Underweight - percent of children under five years 1.1%

Germany Life Expectancy

How long do people live in Germany?

Life Expectancy at Birth 80 Years
Life Expectancy at Birth - female 82 Years
Life Expectancy at Birth - male 78 Years
Median Age 45 Years
Median Age - female 46 Years
Median Age - male 44 Years

Germany Infant Mortality - per 1,000 live births

Germany median age, birth rate and death rates

Birth Rate - births/1,000 population 8
Death Rate - deaths/1,000 population 11.17
Median Age 45 Years
Median Age - female 46 Years
Median Age - male 44 Years
Net Migration Rate - migrant(s)/1,000 population .89
Population Growth Rate -0.19%
Sex Ratio 0-14 Years - male/female 1.06
Sex Ratio 15-24 Years - male/female 1.04
Sex Ratio 25-54 Years - male/female 1.03
Sex Ratio 55-64 Years - male/female .97
Sex Ratio at Birth - male/female 1.06
Sex Ratio of Total Population - male/female .97
Sex Ratio Over 64 Years - male/female .76

Germany Medical Information

What are the health conditions in Germany?

Medical Facilities and Health Information

Germany has good medical care and facilities. If you are not a resident of Germany, doctors and hospitals may expect immediate payment in cash. Most doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies do not accept credit cards.

Due to Germany's strict customs regulations, generally, you are not allowed to receive prescription medication by mail without special permission. During your trip, you should only carry the amount you plan to use.

Germany Education

What is school like in Germany?

Education Expenditures - percent of GDP 5.1%
Literacy - female 99%
Literacy - male 99%
Literacy - total population 99%
Literacy Definition Age 15 and over can read and write
School Life Expectancy - female 16 Years
School Life Expectancy - male 16 Years
Total School Life Expectancy - (primary to tertiary) 16 Years

Germany Literacy

Can people in Germany read?

Literacy - female 99%
Literacy - male 99%
Literacy - total population 99%
Literacy Definition Age 15 and over can read and write
Predominant Language German

Germany Crime

Is Germany a safe place to visit?

Crime Information

Violent crime is rare in Germany but can occur, especially in larger cities or high-risk areas such as on large metropolitan subway systems and in train stations, primarily during late night or early morning hours. There have been several reports of aggravated assault against U.S. citizens in higher-risk urban areas. However, most incidents of street crime involve the theft of unattended items and pickpocketing. Take the same precautions that you would in any large city.

Don't buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal to bring back into the United States, but by purchasing them you could also be breaking local law.

Germany Penalties for Crime

Criminal Penalties

While traveling in Germany, you are subject to its laws, even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different from our own. While you are overseas, U.S. laws do not apply, and if you do something illegal in your host country, your U.S. passport won't help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It is very important to know what is legal and what is not, as criminal penalties vary from country to country. There are also some things that may be legal where you are traveling, but illegal in the United States; for example, if you engage in sexual conduct with children or use or disseminate child pornography in a foreign country, you can be prosecuted in the United States.

The Embassy has learned of some incidents of German lawyers, working on behalf of media companies, aggressively identifying individuals who are illegally downloading copyrighted content and then billing those people 1000 Euros or more per incident. If these cases are brought to court, German courts will likely rule in favor of the companies. You are strongly advised not to download media content except from reputable legal sites.

Arrest Notifications in Germany: While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested in a foreign country that is not the case in Germany. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request that the police and prison officials notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as you are arrested or detained.

Germany Population Comparison

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