Cities and Neighbourhoods

Fast Demographic Growth in the Berlin-Brandenburg Metro Region


August 2016

The population of Germany's capital Berlin is growing, but so is the number of residents living in its greater metro area in Brandenburg. Between the years 2000 and 2014 alone, many of the suburban communities around Berlin registered a population increase by far more than 20 percent. The top-performer in this context is the municipality of Dallgow-Döberitz in the county of Havelland, which expanded at break-neck speed: Its population more than doubled during the first 14 years of this century (52.6 percent of its current residents being recent arrivals). The regional planning department of Brandenburg, the federal state that surrounds Berlin on all sides, predicts a demographic growth of six percent for Berlin's periphery by 2030. Based on a population total of 900,000 today, this implies an increase by 75,000 new residents. According to the Brandenburg State Ministry for Infrastructure and Regional Planning, the demographic growth is explained by the growing attractiveness of Berlin. The enormous population increase in the German capital by up to 50,000 people per year has prompted a large number of residents to move out into the suburbs. By the end of 2015, the population of Berlin had crossed the mark of 3.5 million. The city's growth has accelerated not least because of the steady incoming migration from other European countries and the increased inflow of refugees. However, the influx of new residents in Berlin is causing the housing supply to dry up and prices or rents to soar, driving many Berliners out into suburbia. The IBB Investment Bank takes a positive view of the sustained incoming migration to Berlin, not least because it boosts the city's economic performance. The State of Brandenburg benefits from the trend as well because the growing appeal of Berlin has added to the economic growth of the entire metro region of Berlin-Brandenburg.

Plenty of Development Potential Left in Berlin's “Gravy Belt”

The so-called “gravy belt” of affluent suburbs around Berlin is particularly attractive for logistics operators. For them, it is still easy to find suitable sites right on the city's periphery for convenient deliveries inside the city limits. As the population and the economy in the greater Berlin metro area grow, so will the number of commuters. Surveys are under way that seek to clarify what sort of measure will become necessary to channel commuter flows efficiently into and out of the German capital. Despite the upward trend, Berlin continues to have a relatively low commuter ratio compared to other German metropolises. Only eight percent of the population commute to Berlin for work. But the number of people moving into urban periphery of the city is growing steadily. As it is, 38 percent of Brandenburg's population lives just beyond Berlin's city limits. The number of commuters between the two states has swelled to 400,000 today, and it is projected that the share of Brandenburg's population living in Berlin's gravy belt will have risen to around 42 percent by 2030. Nor is an end to the trend in sight: The historically low interest rates on loans for home builders and condominium buyers, on the one hand, and the dwindling supply and rising prices characterising the housing market in Berlin, on the other hand, will cause the population in the greater metro area to keep growing rapidly.

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