Cities and Neighbourhoods

Germany 2035: Leipzig the Fastest Growing City


April 2019

The urban centres in Germany will continue to see demographic and economic growth in the coming years, whereas the more rural regions will keep shrinking rapidly – this is the result of an extensive survey done by the Berlin Institute for Population and Development that analysed the long-term viability of Germany’s regions through 2035 and made corresponding forecasts. The national population total will be more or less the same it is today, yet there will be tremendous differences from one region to the next. The city with the fastest demographic growth, relatively speaking, will be Leipzig, as the number of residents in this Saxon metropolis could increase by 16 percent between now and 2035. The survey identifies Berlin, whose population will expand by eleven percent before 2035, as the state with the strongest absolute growth (source:  

Young People Moving to the Cities

Several other cities in East Germany may look forward to an upward trend in the coming years, among them Potsdam, Dresden, Erfurt, Jena, Rostock, Halle and Magdeburg – whereas most of the East German states as a whole will face continued outmigration, according to the survey. By contrast, brisk demographic growth is expected in the aforementioned cities, especially in the metro region such as Hamburg, Munich, Cologne-Düsseldorf and the Rhine-Main region. The survey goes on to suggest that young people, more so than others, will be drawn to the cities in the years ahead, either to enrol in a degree program or to start a career in the city.

But rather than limiting its analysis to the demographic trend of each region, the survey integrates other indicators from the areas of business, education and family-friendliness. The survey considers it striking that mainly big cities take the lead in the overall rating – despite all the current issues plaguing them, such as the housing market or the transport situation. But the attractiveness of the labour market and of the cultural amenities in the big urban centres will continue to outweigh possible issues in future.  

Dresden among Cities with the Brightest Outlook

The overall rating of all districts and independent cities in Germany was topped by Munich, trailed closely by other cities in the southern German states of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg. That being said, there is also an East German city among the top twenty, namely Dresden, state capital of Saxony and lauded specifically for its family-friendliness and its forward-looking economic structure. One of every two microelectronics chips made in Europe comes from Dresden, according to the survey.

Meanwhile, Berlin has worked its way up into the upper midfield since the previous edition of the Germany survey of the Berlin Institute, climbing 188 ranks up to 163rd place. Berlin made particular gains in terms of its labour market, but compared to West German metropolises, the city’s employment and average income figures are still comparatively low. Then again, two districts located in Berlin’s gravy belt are among the top 100, one being Dahme-Spreewald (rank 40), the other Potsdam-Mittelmark (rank 62).

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