The population of Germany has fallen for the first time in a decade as a dip in net immigration compounded the effects of a long decline in the birth rate.
Since 2011 the number of people in the country had grown from 80.2 million to a record 83.2 million last year. In the past six months it has dropped by 40,000, according to provisional figures published yesterday by the Federal Statistical Office.
This dent is almost entirely the result of a slump in inward migration during the pandemic. Deaths have outnumbered births in Germany for nearly half a century and with zero immigration the population would dwindle by about 160,000 people a year.
In 2015 an influx of migrants, chiefly from North Africa, the Middle