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Native Berliners now the Minority

Berlin is a growing metropolis. In 2015, the city's population reached the highest level seen in 70 years. The statistical yearbooks published by the Berlin-Brandenburg Statistics Office show that 3.52 million residents were registered in the German capital. According to the Statistics Office, the figures for 2016 are not yet available. But the statistics experts assume that it was another year of brisk demographic growth, not least because of the inflow of working-age foreigners, foreign students and refugees. New arrivals in 2015 added up to 183,000 people, of whom around 41 percent originated elsewhere in Germany while 59 percent came from abroad. Another reason for the population increase is the city's positive birth rate, as live births exceeded deaths by 3,700. The total number of babies born in Berlin in 2015 was 38,000. It is the highest birth rate since 1989, the year the Berlin Wall came down. But Berlin's demographic growth is based mainly on a steady inflow of new arrivals. As it is, every other resident of Germany's first city was born elsewhere.

Berlin's Population could Hit 4 Million by 2035

According to a new survey compiled by the IW Economic Institute, Berlin's population may actually grow by another 15 percent between now and 2035, crossing the mark of four million. Berlin's growth rate would thereby outpace cities like Munich and Frankfurt am Main. Among the main reasons that the researchers cite for the trend is the inflow of young people from inside and outside Germany who come to the city for an academic or vocational education, or to start their professional career. At the same time, many elderly people come here in expectation of better service options and a richer variety of leisure attractions. For the time being, most of the new arrivals in Berlin hail from other German cities, and no city saw more of its residents leave for Berlin than Hamburg. Nearly 21,000 have moved from the country's largest port to its capital in recent years. Other major sources of incoming residents include Dresden (17,578) and Leipzig (17,561), the two largest cities in Saxony and both well within reach of Berlin.

Where do Berlin's New Arrivals Live?

So far, Berlin's new residents have favoured the downtown districts inside the rapid-transit circle line. Only one out of three residents in these area is a native Berliner. Topping the list as favourite destinations for domestic arrivals are the boroughs of Pankow (which includes Prenzlauer Berg), Mitte and Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg. With the housing supply in the inner city having dried up lately and building land being scarce, many of the city's new residents are now moving into neighbourhoods beyond the circle line. Most coveted are, predictably, the sub-district adjacent to the popular downtown boroughs. But even the significance of Berlin's suburban periphery is growing. More than six million people now live in Berlin's metro region, which extends deep into the surrounding state of Brandenburg.