Why Is Europe's Economic Dynamo Losing Residents?

Germany has been able to fend off the worst effects of the deep recession that's beset seemingly every European country. But it finds itself facing the same continent-wide demographic crisis afflicting its less-affluent neighbors.

"There is perhaps nowhere better than the German countryside to see the dawning impact of Europe’s plunge in fertility rates over the decades, a problem that has frightening implications for the economy and the psyche of the Continent," write Suzanne Daley and Nicholas Kulish. "In some areas, there are now abundant overgrown yards, boarded-up windows and concerns about sewage systems too empty to work properly."

"In its most recent census, Germany discovered it had lost 1.5 million inhabitants," they explain, with a future decline of up to 19 percent expected over the next four decades. "Demographers say a similar future awaits other European countries, and the issue grows more pressing every day as Europe’s seemingly endless economic troubles accelerate the decline."

"Germany, however, an island of prosperity, is spending heavily to find ways out of the doom-and-gloom predictions, and it would seem ideally placed to show the Continent the way. So far, though, even while spending $265 billion a year on family subsidies, Germany has proved only how hard it can be."

A solution may require no less than a cultural shift in the country's approach to immigrants, older workers and working mothers.


Full Story: Germany Fights Population Drop

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $16.95 a month
Woman wearing city map tote bag

City Shoulder Totes - New Cities Added!

Durable CityFabric© shoulder tote bags available from 9 different cities.
$22.00

Wear your city with style!

100% silk scarves feature detailed city maps. Choose from six cities with red or blue trim.
$55.00