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introduction

The federal government has accepted this task: in 2011 it presented a demography report and in 2012 a comprehensive demography strategy. The demographic report presented the demographic development and its medium and long-term consequences for Germany. The demographic strategy with the title "Every Age Counts" aimed to take advantage of the opportunities offered by population growth. For the first time, she listed all fields of action that are important for shaping demographic change politically. On this basis, the Federal Government has started a dialogue with representatives from all levels of government, business, social partners, science and civil society. Joint working groups have formulated concrete solutions. They presented the first results of this intensive collaboration to the public in May 2013 at the German government's demography summit.

On January 14, 2015, the federal government decided to deepen this approach and to further develop the demographic strategy under the title "For more prosperity and quality of life for all generations".

It sharpens the goals of its actions and shows what has already been achieved and where further efforts are being made. In addition, it shows the relationship between the fields of action and the concrete results of the working groups. And it makes it clear which key measures the federal government will take to shape demographic change.

The Federal Government is also intensifying its cooperation with the design partners in a total of ten working groups:

  • "Good partnerships for strong families"
  • "Young people shape the future"
  • "Motivated, qualified and healthy work"
  • "Self-determined life in old age"
  • "Alliance for People with Dementia"
  • "Strengthening regions in the face of demographic change - promoting quality of life in urban and rural areas"
  • "Mobilization of all potentials to secure the skilled labor base"
  • "Developing foreign labor potential and creating a welcoming culture"
  • "Promote educational biographies"
  • "The public service as an attractive and modern employer"

The design partners are of crucial importance for a successful overall process. They get involved through their ideas and contributions based on valuable experience and expertise. Under the leadership of one or more chairmen from the Federal Government and one or more co-chairmen from among the design partners, they discuss the demographic challenges in the respective fields of action with the representatives of the federal ministries, develop new proposed solutions and help implement them. All areas of life and politics that are affected by demographic change can be found in the proposals of the working groups.

The results of the working groups have largely flowed into the further developed strategy and, together with the measures of the Federal Government, enable more prosperity and quality of life for all generations.

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1. The demographic situation in Germany

The demographic changes and their consequences have been noticeable in almost all areas of life in Germany for many years. Its causes are primarily the continuously increasing life expectancy, the permanently low birth rate and growing national and international mobility. These three permanent demographic trends mean that the structure of the population has already changed and will continue to change.

Statistically speaking, women in Germany have given birth to around 1.4 children for over 40 years. Only two thirds of each parent generation is replaced by the following generation of children; 2.1 children per woman would be necessary to maintain the population. The situation in Germany is characterized by high childlessness and the low proportion of children with many children (three children and more).

Life expectancy in Germany has been rising continuously for over 50 years. Since 1960 men have gained an average of 10.8 and women 10.4 years in life expectancy. It is to be expected that life expectancy will continue to rise in the future. More and more people are reaching old age with better physical and mental performance. The number of years of staying healthy keeps increasing.

Overall, net migration has increased since 1950 - despite upward and downward movements. Since 2010, immigration numbers have risen significantly after a long low. Germany is now a country of immigration. The reasons for this are the increased immigration from EU countries, of labor migrants from so-called third countries and the increasing number of migrants who come to Germany for humanitarian reasons. Overall, the qualification level of the new immigrants has increased significantly.

After the migration balance in 2012 was 369,000 people, it was around 429,000 in 2013. A further increase in migration gains is to be expected for 2014 and 2015.

In 2013 there were 16.5 million people with a migration background in Germany; that was 20.5 percent of the total population. Around one third of all people with a migration background were born in Germany (6 million), two thirds (10.5 million) have had their own migration experience. Of these, 36.6 percent come from the EU member states.

The total population in Germany is expected to be roughly the same as it is today by 2030, although it will initially continue to rise, but then decrease. In contrast, the workforce aged 20 to 66 will decrease by up to 3.5 million during this period. The aging of the population will continue. Towards the end of the 2020s, the “baby boomers” drop out of work. The proportion of people over 67 compared to the working-age population will then increase. The age group of over 67-year-olds will grow by 27 percent by 2030, that of 80-year-olds and older by 43 percent compared to today. Demographic change will continue until 2060. The population could decrease to 73.1 million.

The proportion of people under the age of 20 would then be just over 16 percent. The working population between the ages of 20 and under 67 is also expected to decrease significantly. This is offset by a further increase in the proportion of the elderly and the very old.

Other assumptions about the birth rate predict a different population trend. With an assumed birth rate of 1.6 children per woman, a moderate increase in life expectancy and a long-term net migration of 200,000 per year, the population is reduced to 76.9 million. The increase in the birth rate is theoretically possible, but cannot yet be observed. However, according to all model calculations, the decline and aging of the population are irreversible.

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2. Aims and fields of action of the federal government's demographic policy

Demographic change will significantly change the way we live together and the prerequisites for the development of prosperity and quality of life in the coming decades. The demographic policy of the Federal Government therefore aims to create framework conditions that increase prosperity for people of all generations in our country and further improve the quality of life.

In particular, it wants to contribute to

  • to strengthen the economic growth potential in order to further develop the material prosperity achieved and to be able to pass it on to future generations,
  • to maintain and promote social cohesion in families, between generations, between the sick and the healthy, the well-to-do and the less well-off, people with and without disabilities and between people with different cultural backgrounds,
  • to promote equality of living conditions and a high quality of life in the rural and urban regions, which are very differently affected by demographic change, and
  • to guarantee the state's ability to act, the reliability of the social security systems and an attractive and modern public service in the long term through solid finances.

In the view of the Federal Government, a broad package of measures in numerous fields of action is required in order to achieve these goals. The overarching goals of the demographic strategy and the central fields of action to support these goals are as follows:

As experience in recent years has shown, demographic change itself cannot be reversed by immigration from abroad, but its dimensions can be influenced. In principle, a moderate increase in the birth rate could also help to mitigate the undesirable consequences of demographic change in the long term. The Federal Government has therefore taken a number of measures in recent years - also as part of its demographic strategy - which help families to make it easier for them to have children.

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3. Measures relating to the goals and fields of action of the federal government's demographic policy

All areas of life and politics that are affected by demographic change can be found in the approaches and initiatives of the federal government and the design partners.

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3.1. Fields of action and measures for the goal of "strengthening economic growth potential"

An overarching goal of the federal government's demographic policy is to stabilize the growth of economic potential in the long term and to enable a further increase in prosperity in Germany so that it can also be passed on to future generations. Securing the skilled labor base and strengthening educational potential are central starting points. This task for society as a whole encompasses the upbringing and schooling of our children, the education of young people, lifelong continuing education and training, the activation of all domestic and foreign skilled workers, as well as appropriate remuneration. It is still important to permanently strengthen economic development through innovations and investments. In the long term, the most important thing is to secure and increase per capita income in the face of demographic change.

Field of activity "Potential for securing skilled workers at home and abroad"

In Germany there is still no acute nationwide shortage of skilled workers. However, there are bottlenecks in certain qualifications in some regions and industries. The Federal Government's skilled workers concept pursues the approach of using all potential to secure skilled workers. It has contributed to the fact that the current skilled worker situation has not worsened. The Federal Government regularly presents the development of securing skilled workers in progress reports on the Skilled Workers Concept. In addition, the inter-ministerial working group "Skilled Workers of the Future" annually reviews the Federal Government's goals and measures.

Selected measures

  • In November 2014 the federal government, social partners, companies and chambers approved the "Partnership for professionals" founded - with the aim of recognizing and mobilizing existing potential even better. In particular, it is important to strengthen the operational level as the starting point for measures to secure skilled workers.
  • The "Inclusion Initiative" supports the participation of severely disabled specialists in the general labor market with around EUR 140 million. In particular, severely disabled young people benefit from the funding through the creation of at least 1,300 new company training positions.
  • The multilingual welcome portal "www.make-it-in-germany.com" was created as part of the federal government's skilled workers offensive. With 7.7 million visitors worldwide, it has become a calling card for Germany's welcoming culture. Since December 2014, the Internet offer has been supplemented by the telephone hotline "Working and Living in Germany" as the central point of contact for international specialists and students.

Field of activity "Good education as an investment in the future"

Germany's innovative and competitive strength is based on its excellently trained specialists. Good education is an important requirement. In a society that is getting smaller, it is more important than ever to promote each and every individual. Specifically, the Federal Government is helping to create high-quality early childhood education, improve teacher training, offer systematic and practical career orientation, strengthen dual training, increase participation in further training and ensure high-quality higher education. Particular attention is paid to ensuring that every young person achieves a degree.

Selected measures

  • On November 6, 2014, a federal-state conference dealt with the system of early childhood education, upbringing and care. With a communiqué, it has a process of understanding between the responsible federal and state ministers and the central municipal associations about the Quality of publicly responsible child day care initiated. A regular expert dialogue has started; an interim report will be available at the end of 2016.
  • To the to strengthen dual training, At the end of 2014, the Federal Government signed the Alliance for Education and Training 2015 to 2018 together with business, trade unions, the Federal Employment Agency and the federal states. The alliance also implements the "training guarantee" from the coalition agreement.
  • With the Funding focus "Operational Competence Management in Demographic Change" The Federal Government is researching how previously unrecognized skills can be fostered in company workforces - for example through new models of work organization, through a personnel policy that is based on the life situation of employees, or through new strategies of competence management in companies.

Field of action "Productivity through innovations and investments"

Innovations and investments are an important key to the competitiveness of an economy. When the population is falling, it is important to generate growth. The necessary investments depend not only on the amount of capital already invested, but also on the future tasks to be solved: In Germany, this includes the transition to an affordable, safe and environmentally friendly energy supply and the increasing digitalization of the economy and society. The Federal Government's goal is to permanently increase public investment in Germany, particularly in areas such as infrastructure, education, science and research, and to noticeably improve the framework conditions for private investments.

Selected measures

  • As the first step in the implementation of the new high-tech strategy started the program "Innovations for the production, services and work of tomorrow" in September 2014. The new "Industry 4.0" platform followed in April 2015, building on the work of the high-tech strategy project of the same name.
  • Investments in nationwide broadband infrastructure is carried out by the Federal Government within the framework of the Digital Agenda 2014 to 2017. In the field of action I "Digital Infrastructures", among other things, the goal is set to create a nationwide broadband infrastructure with a download speed of at least 50 Mbit / s by 2018.
  • The investments in improving the transport infrastructure increase from EUR 10.8 billion in 2015 to a record amount of around EUR 12.8 billion by the end of the legislative period.

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3.2. Fields of action and measures for the goal of "promoting social and societal cohesion"

Demographic change is not only a challenge from an economic point of view, but also in terms of social coexistence and cultural diversity. The Federal Government wants to strengthen cohesion with a policy for all generations and is taking forward-looking measures, especially in family and youth policy, senior citizens policy, health and care policy and volunteering policy.

"Family as a community" field of activity

Family and children are still very important to the population. Family will remain an issue for all of life in the future. A central field of action for politics, economy and society is the partnership participation of mothers and fathers in working life and in the family. The federal government wants to support families and potential parents in a partnership-based division of tasks and achieve a new quality in the compatibility of family, care and work. To this end, it has initiated important legal measures.

Selected measures

  • With the introduction of the Parental AllowancePlus Parental allowance and part-time work can be better combined.
  • With the Law to improve the compatibility of family, care and work it is made easier for employees to agree on all three areas.
  • The Law on the expansion of day care centers is a building block to improve the partnership-based distribution of tasks and a better work-life balance.


"A youth-friendly society" field of activity

Around 14 million adolescents and young adults between the ages of 12 and 27 currently live in Germany. However, this age group is becoming smaller and smaller in line with the demographic development, while the proportion of older citizens is growing steadily. In the context of demographic policy, the main question to be answered is how society and politics can bring together the sometimes different expectations and demands of young and old.

  • The phase of the dialogue process (2011 to 2014) for Development of an independent youth policy is closed.
  • The activities of the federal government are now under the unifying leitmotif "Acting for a youth-friendly society" bundled in the youth strategy 2015 to 2018.
  • Regional participation projects are carried out for young people in rural regions and will run until 2017 Recommendations for action Developed.

Field of activity "Self-determined life in old age"

Of all phases of life, the changes due to demographic change are most evident in old age. Seniors in Germany are living more than 30 years longer than they did 100 years ago. They also have the chance to actively shape their old age in good health. At the same time, an increasing need for support is to be expected. Decisive factors for a self-determined life in old age lie in the social space, i.e. the place in which we live. Various measures by the Federal Government therefore support coexistence in the neighborhood, networking on site for the development of caring communities, but also the improvement of the living situation of older people.

Selected measures

  • With the Multi-generation houses action program the federal government contributes to the development of caring communities.
  • By a Support of the age-appropriate renovation it should be possible for older people to live in their own apartment for a long time. The existing subsidy variant in the KfW program "Age-appropriate renovation" also serves this purpose.
  • With the Working aid "Guide to Barrier-Free Building" the federal government is setting new standards in federal construction.

"An inclusive society" field of activity

March 26, 2015 marked the sixth anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities - UN-CRPD) in Germany. For the policy for people with disabilities, the notion of care is no longer decisive, but the realization of self-determination and participation. The Federal Government initiated this change of perspective in disability policy with the Disability Equality Act (BGG) and the General Equal Treatment Act (AGG), among other things.

Selected measures

  • The National Action Plan with over 200 measures for an inclusive society guarantees the right to a self-determined life. It is under the working title "NAP 2.0" further developed through broad participation of civil society.
  • The implementation of two important legislative projects is planned for 2016: the amendment of the disability equality law as well as the creation of a federal participation law with which the living situation of people with disabilities will be improved overall.

"Civic engagement" field of activity

The number of older people who value support through volunteering in their everyday life is increasing. At the same time, we also know that older people are more willing to get involved after they retire. The federal government will, among other things, move the growing group of capable older people and their potential into the social focus. In the long term, the federal government wants to create an "engagement landscape" that networks partners from civil society, business and the state in such a way that they can better coordinate their activities.

Selected measures

  • Together with five large foundations (Bertelsmann Foundation, BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt, Herbert Quandt Foundation, Körber Foundation and Robert Bosch Foundation) and the Generali Future Fund, the Federal Government has started the network program "Committed City" to systematically develop and strengthen local engagement .
  • The second engagement report is entitled “Demographic Change and Civic Engagement: The Contribution of Engagement to Local Development”. It should show what impulses civic engagement can give for a good coexistence and coexistence in the municipality and what conditions are necessary for success.

Field of activity "Health promotion and sustainable care in the event of illness, need for care and for people with dementia"

The health of each and every individual will continue to gain in importance in a society of longer life. As people get older, they are confronted with chronic diseases and multiple illnesses more frequently. This development places demands on the supply structures and the supply offers. The Federal Government wants to support healthy aging, guarantee reliable, age-appropriate and easily accessible health care, promote the further development and expansion of hospice and palliative care and ensure high-quality, needs-based care and support.

Selected measures

  • The First Care Strengthening Act provides for performance improvements amounting to around EUR 2.4 billion. In addition to care at home, inpatient care is also being strengthened.
  • The federal government also has the Second Act to Strengthen Long-Term Care initiated an important change of perspective: A new definition of the need for long-term care and a new assessment procedure are to be introduced. Long-term care insurance is thus placed on a new professional basis.
  • To ensure needs-based, comprehensive and easily accessible medical care, the federal government has passed a law to strengthen care in statutory health insurance.

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3.3. Fields of action and priority measures for the goal of "promoting equality of living conditions in the regions"

The decentralized settlement structure and the scenic and cultural diversity are special characteristics of Germany and part of its economic success story. City and country complement each other. However, there is a risk that existing imbalances between regions and within regions will widen further. In all relevant policy areas, the Federal Government is already helping to mitigate the consequences of demographic change and giving the regions sustainable future prospects: starting with regional, economic, transport and infrastructure, environmental and spatial planning policy through to rural policy and urban development as well as housing construction through to labor market, education, health and family policy.

Field of activity "Economic strength and innovation potential of rural and urban regions"

Demographic change is affecting economic power precisely where the decline and aging of the working population meet structural weaknesses and poor connections to metropolitan areas and large cities. There are still greater differences between the old and new federal states. Regional funding plays an important role in strengthening the economic power and innovation potential of structurally weak regions. With the expiry of the Solidarity Pact in 2019, the tried and tested federal funding system will be realigned. The future funding system will focus on measures to strengthen the growth and innovation potential of structurally weak regions. Measures to promote infrastructure and services of general interest complement this approach.

Selected measures

  • The federal government has increased the funds for regional funding within the framework of the federal-state joint task "Improvement of the regional economic structure" (GRW).
  • With the further development of the joint federal and state task "Improvement of the agricultural structure and coastal protection" (GAK), the range of funding in rural regions is to be expanded and the funding opportunities of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) are to be used more extensively.
  • With the support of the inter-ministerial working group “Rural Areas”, the “Rural Development” task force set up at the beginning of 2015 is to coordinate activities for rural areas within the Federal Government more closely at the level of the Parliamentary State Secretaries.

Field of activity "Promotion of the infrastructure and facilitation of the adaptation of services of general interest"

The population development gives rise to different regional challenges in securing services of general interest. The need for action in services of general interest (social infrastructure such as schools, medical care, cultural and leisure activities as well as technical infrastructures such as water, sewage, waste disposal, energy, roads) can result from changes in the population as well as changes in the age structure and a combination of both result. New and flexible solutions are required here. A key role is played by the availability of services of general interest. The nationwide supply of broadband as well as the promotion of demand-oriented and flexible offers in local public transport (ÖPNV) are central to the federal government.

Selected measures

  • The amendment to the Passenger Transport Act has considerably expanded the possibility of using flexible forms of service. For example, permits can be granted more easily.
  • The investments in a comprehensive, high-performance broadband infrastructure are an essential contribution to guaranteeing equal living conditions and to safeguarding services of general interest throughout Germany.
  • The federal program "Rural Development" launched at the beginning of 2015 will provide new impetus for securing services of general interest in rural areas.

Field of activity "Promotion of sustainable urban development and integrative urban societies"

For a high quality of life it is necessary that the environment of the people in town and country is designed to be generation-friendly and sustainable. As part of its urban development and housing policy, but also through its environmental policy, the Federal Government therefore contributes to strengthening the attractiveness of cities, municipalities and regions in the face of demographic change and making them sustainable.

Selected measures

  • The federal government has significantly increased the programs for urban development in order to ensure the future viability of the municipalities. City centers and town centers are strengthened in their function, public spaces and buildings are designed to be barrier-free and sustainable infrastructures are created.
  • Of the funds from urban development funding, 150 million euros are available for the "Socially Integrative City" program, which the Federal Government is continuing as a key program for social integration. In addition, the future of small towns will be brought more into the focus of political trade.
  • The Program "Smaller Cities and Towns - Supraregional Cooperation and Networks" was increased in order to strengthen small and medium-sized towns as anchor points in the region.
  • The "Alliance for Affordable Housing and Building" brings together all federal levels and all actors relevant to housing and building. In order to cope with the demographic change, the field of action "Age-appropriate renovation in the neighborhood" is particularly important.

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3.4. Fields of action and priority measures for the goal of "ensuring solid finances for the state's ability to act and reliable social security systems"

As the population ages, the number of people of working age is decreasing in relation to the number of those who are of retirement age. That means: fewer and fewer people in employment have to guarantee security in old age for more and more people. This also has an impact on the social security systems. At the same time - without countermeasures - tax revenues develop comparatively weaker, especially in the area of ​​wage and income tax. These factors can become financial risks. Ensuring reliable social security systems and securing sustainable public finances at all government levels are therefore one of the Federal Government's core tasks within the scope of its demographic policy. The ability of the state to act also includes a competitive and efficient public service that is adapted to the challenges of demographic change.

Field of action "Sustainability of public finances"

Sustainable public finances are one of the central prerequisites for ensuring the state's ability to act in the face of demographic change. They are an important precaution in order to be able to cope with demographically induced increases in expenditure and possible changes in the income structure without burdening future generations unduly. The federal government has contributed to this in the past with a consistent consolidation course and considerably increased investments in future areas.

Selected measures

  • The federal budget gets by without new debt and the The debt ratio is expected to drop below 60 percent by 2023 of the gross domestic product decrease so that solid finances maintain the state's ability to act.
  • The Federal-State financial relations should rearranged in order to meet the interests of the federal and state governments and to strengthen federalism as a whole.
  • The regularly published Federal Government's sustainability reports and the research project "Challenges for tax law due to demographic developments" show financial policy risks in the long term.

Field of activity "Reliability of the social security systems"

Against the background of demographic change, the reliability of social security systems is of particular importance for both benefit recipients and the state. Therefore, in addition to implementing the financial policy measures, it is important to make the social security systems sustainable and "demographically resistant" so that both adequate performance and long-term financing are maintained. In addition to the sustainable orientation of health and long-term care security, the Federal Government is also focusing on measures for future-proof old age provision.

Selected measures

  • With the Establishment of a long-term care fund the financial sustainability and intergenerational equity of social long-term care insurance are increased. Since January 2015, more than EUR 1 billion per year (equivalent to 0.1 contribution rate points) has been accumulated in a fund managed by the Bundesbank.
  • With the Reform of the financing structures As of January 1, 2015, the patient-oriented price and quality competition in the healthcare sector was strengthened. In order to be attractive for insured persons and patients, service providers and payers should strive for a high quality of care and a more economical use of funds.
  • The state sponsored private old-age provision is becoming more consumer-friendly. For this purpose, a binding and standardized product information sheet will be introduced and a "product information center for old-age provision" will be set up in order to improve the transparency of the products in this area.

"Attractive and modern public service" field of activity

Like private employers, the public service will be challenged by the effects of demographic developments. Employers from the federal, state and local authorities must be prepared for the fact that the number of people in employment will decrease in the future, while at the same time the proportion of older people in employment will continue to rise until 2030, i.e. until the expected generation change due to the departure of the "baby boomers". These challenges are intensified due to the special age structures with a relatively high average age of employees in the public sector.

Selected measures

In the sense of a demographic-preventive job policy

  • should the central training capacities of the federal government for certain professions in demand strengthened and the resources of the federal university are adjusted accordingly;
  • the federal government will propose to the budget legislature a to set up a central job pool, with the help of which the federal ministries Recruiting young people in demand at an early stage, even before their predecessors retire and the skilled labor market continues to narrow.

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outlook

With the further development of its demographic strategy under the title "For more prosperity and quality of life for all generations", the Federal Government is providing short, medium and long-term answers to population trends.In order to implement its demographic strategy, the Federal Government will continue the working group process and further intensify the cooperation with the design partners in the working groups. A balance sheet of the further work will be presented at the next demography summit in 2017.