Berlin's population totalled 3.375 million at the last count. This is the unexpected result of the nationwide census of 2011. The figure initially raised eyebrows insofar as Berlin's registration offices had assumed the number of residents is around 180,000 higher. The fact that fewer people are living in the city than previously thought does not mean though that Germany's capital has lost its appeal for incoming migrants. Quite on the contrary – more people moved to Berlin in 2012 than in any other year.
Berlin's Population – Growing by about 1.5 Percent in 2012
According to the Berlin-Brandenburg Statistics Office, nearly 50,000 people moved to the German capital in 2012 – a population increase to the tune of 1.5 percent. It is the fastest growth rate on record, and actually exceeds the record level of 1.2 percent from the year 2011. Berlin's Lord Mayor, Klaus Wowereit, cited the economic momentum of the city as the key reason for the increase in incoming migration. That said, the growth of Berlin's population is not explained by migration alone. The figures released by the statistics office show there is another reason, too: Berlin has a positive birth rate, and it is accelerating. Indeed, 2012 was a banner year for the metropolis in terms of life births, too. One possible reason for the rise in birth rate could be the age structure of the people moving to Berlin. Most of the city's new residents are between 20 and 30 years old – that is, the very age when people tend to settle down and start a family. Mayor Wowereit added that Berlin offers a plethora of child care facilities.
Growth of Berlin's Population Drives up Real Estate Prices
For the City of Berlin, the growing population implies a continued increase in preschool and school enrolment. Above all, though, it translates into a need for new housing – and the rising demand for flats is boosting both rent rates and condominium prices. The upshot of the 2013 Housing Market Report compiled by GSW and CBRE is that asking rents on new leases rose by 13.8 percent year on year in 2012, subject to a continued upward trend. During the same period, condominium prices surged by nearly 20 percent. Looking forward, there is every reason to assume that unchecked growth of Berlin's population will keep driving up rents and prices.