Births, deaths, migration: every year since 1972 there have been fewer children being born than people dying. If we leave immigration out of the equation, the population has been shrinking for 50 years. Germany is in the middle of a demographic change affecting practically all areas of our lives. From February to July 2022, the Communications and Public Relations Department examined this process in its many facets and the corresponding challenges in a six-month dossier.
In contrast to what experts have long been predicting, Germany’s population will not be shrinking in the coming years but will remain constant. This development is primarily due to immigration. Nevertheless, Germany needs a sustainable strategy to counter demographic change, and it can learn from other countries.
Should more immigration be allowed, not only to counter the threat of an ageing population in our society but also to help with the problem of a lack of skilled workers? Anyone advocating this strategy does not base their demand for more open borders on any moral rights which people wanting to immigrate may have, but on the interests which the host society has.
Demographic change is impacting on our society. A growing number of older and old people means, among other things, that there is an increasing demand for healthcare services. In this interview, Prof. Klaus Berger and Prof. André Karch from the Institute of Epidemiology and Social Medicine talk about the challenges this will entail for research and healthcare.
Provision for our old age concerns all of us. In this fact-check, Prof. Aloys Prinz, Director of the Institute of Public Economics II at the University of Münster, and Fabian Dittrich, one of the two spokesmen of the German Institute of Old-Age Insurance, provide an overview of how the pension system is financed and they talk about the future challenges posed by demographic change.
Here in Germany we are living in an ageing society. In future, there will be more older people and fewer children and young people. In this interview with Kathrin Nolte, Dr. Karin Böllert, Professor of Educational Science with a focus on social pedagogy, explains the effects which demographic change is having on the young generation.
"The cases of sexual abuse attack the church at its core because they cast doubt on the holiness it claims for itself. How influential demographic processes are is less visible, but there are equally long-term effects", says Dr. Detlef Pollack, Professor of the Sociology of Religion at Münster University, in this guest commentary on the effects of demographic change on the churches.
What kind of life do I want to lead when I’m older? How can I learn to do academic work when I’m retired? Answers to these and other questions are provided by the course of study entitled "Personal development and social responsibility in older years". The course is offered by the Senior Guest Programme Office at the University of Münster.
Since 1972, fewer children have been born in Germany each year than people have died. Without immigration, the population would have been shrinking for 50 years. Germany is in the midst of demographic change. The Communication and Public Affairs Department illuminates this process in its many facets and the corresponding challenges.
Social security systems require a high level of expenditure. This always has to be generated by the working population. Prof. Heinz-Dietrich Steinmeyer, Emeritus Professor at the Institute for Labour, Social and Economic Law (Department II), describes in his guest article why a reform of the systems in Germany is necessary.
Since end of the 19th century the life expectancy of new-born babies has more than doubled. The most important reasons for this are not only improvements in the fields of hygiene, food and housing, but also better working conditions, higher levels of prosperity and improved medical care. The growing number of older people means that healthcare services are in greater demand.
No region in Germany will be left untouched by demographic change. The consequences, however, differ from region to region. In this interview Dr. Christian Krajewski, a senior lecturer at the Institute of Geography at Münster University, explains the challenges facing cities and rural areas.
Between 1960 and 2020, people’s life plans – and also, as a result, the courses their lives took – underwent profound changes. This transformation had, and is still having, effects on important demographic indicators such as marriage rates and birth rates. In his guest article, Prof. Ulrich Pfister from the Institute for Economic and Social History describes the changes.
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