For some years now, the demographic growth in Berlin has smashed one record after another. While a lot of people are attracted by the eclectic hustle and bustle of the German capital, just as many people are aching to move to the city's lush green suburbs. It appears that one town Berlin's gravy belt has more appeal than any other: Falkensee on the banks of the Havel River. Since 1990, the year in which Germany reunited, the town's population has more than doubled, rising from 21,000 to currently 43,169. This has made Falkensee the fastest-growing German city of the past 24 years, as a recent survey by the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) revealed.
Falkensee: Steady Demographic Growth since 1990
The IWH experts compared the demographics of 132 cities in East Germany, and found that Falkensee takes exception to the rest of the field: Together with Bernau near Berlin, it is the only city on the western periphery of Berlin that has maintained both stable administrative boundaries and a steady demographic growth. In fact, Bernau and Falkensee are the two only East German cities on record with uninterrupted growth since 1990. Between the two, Falkensee clearly takes the lead: While Bernau grew by less than 48 percent, Falkensee registered a growth rate of around 87 percent. Other towns in Berlin's gravy belt with substantial growth in population include Königs Wusterhausen with 15.6 percent and Oranienburg with 13.2 percent.
Falkensee Growing at an Annual Rate of 500 New Residents
Each year, roughly 500 people move to Falkensee, whose city limits extend over 43.3 square kilometres. Particularly prominent among the inflow are young families who come here to realise their dream of a free-standing home. At the same time, there is rising demand for senior living flats and smallish flats for younger people, according to the mayor, Heiko Müller. A number of terrace housing, apartment building and townhouse developments went ahead in recent years. Having a reputation as a garden city, Falkensee's appeal to new arrivals is explained by the low density of its built-up area, its scenic avenues, several lakes, and the woodlands of nearby Bredower Forst. Then again, the town remains well within reach of big city leisure attractions: The fastest regional train connection takes only 15 minutes from Falkensee to Berlin's central railway station.