A continually ageing population
In Germany, fewer children are being born today than in earlier times. Germany’s population only increased slightly between the year 2000 and 2017. At the same time, the German population is ageing: the average age in 2017 was 44.4. Therefore, around 30 per cent of the population was aged between 45 and 65. This generation will gradually leave the labour market. However, if birth rates remain stable, the up-and-coming younger generation will not replace the retired workers. This presents a long-term challenge for the country’s businesses, which will have increasingly fewer people to train for future recruitment. Germany needs qualified workers: besides bringing more women, older workers and unemployed into the labour market, international qualified professionals can also help fill the growing gap.
Number of working-age people shrinking – need for qualified staff
While forecasts for 2020 predict that there will be around 49 million people of working age, by 2060 it will be nearly 11 million fewer. Unless countermeasures are taken, an ever-smaller number of working-age people will, in the years ahead, have to pay the rising costs of retirement pensions and healthcare. Moreover, businesses and administrations increasingly face challenges to fill their vacancies with qualified staff.
The consequences of demographic change could be alleviated by activating the additional skilled labour potential in Germany and abroad. For example, the hidden reserve in Germany includes well-educated women who do not work full-time, and over-50s who would like to continue their professional activity. Recruiting international qualified professionals is another promising possibility.
Demography portal of the Federal Government and the Länder
Federal Ministry of Health