Berlin: International Super-Hot-Spot

By 2018, the population of Berlin had grown by 34,449. We show everything: where is Berlin growing, how are the nationalities spread in Berlin, from which countries do the people come? 

by Peter Guthmann Published on:

Berlin grows by 0.9 percent in 2018.

The figures of the Statistical Office for 2018 have been published and the results are interesting. Berlin is not growing everywhere, some popular neighborhoods are even shrinking. Overall, population growth in Berlin was just under 0.9 percent compared to 2017. Other international metropolises are currently showing higher growth figures, and Berlin has also been confronted with other orders of magnitude in recent years, including the double influx. According to the office, the population increase in 2018 is the lowest since the 2011 census. 190,000 people came to Berlin, 151,000 people left the city. The birth surplus in 2018 will be about 4,300 people. On balance, the Berlin population grew by about 38,750 people. Among them are 37,000 people with foreign nationalities, while among the Germans there is a decline in the population of just over 6,000 people.

Germans have more departures than arrivals.

191,612 people moved to Berlin in 2018, including 78,871 Germans and 112,741 people of other origins. On the other hand, 157,163 people moved away from Berlin, including 85,177 Germans. Which means there were more Germans going than coming. The chart shows the distribution by nationality in relation to the top 10 immigration groups.

Turkish and Polish community largest.

Let's have a look at the size of the communities in Berlin by nationality. The largest population group is not surprisingly that of the Germans. According to figures from the Berlin-Brandenburg Statistical Office, 2,999,676 Germans were living in Berlin at the end of 2018. According to the same statistics, 748,472 foreign citizens are registered in Berlin. The figure says nothing about the number of Berliners with a migration background that many of the approximately three million people with German passports have. Among the citizens with foreign citizenships, the group of persons with Turkish nationality leads the list with 98,500 persons, followed by 58,020 Poles, 36,225 Syrian citizens and 30,850 Italians. From rank 10 the nationalities move together numerically: About 25,000 Russians, 23,300 Romanians, 21,500 Americans, 20,300 French, almost 17,900 Vietnamese, followed by Englishmen and Spaniards. Of the 194 nationalities listed, people from St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Papua New Guinea are at the end of the scale, with 3 registered citizens each. In the following we have hidden persons of German nationality in order to make the relationship between the other nationalities more visible.

Inhabitants with migration background

The analyses according to the nationality of the inhabitants and the migration background result in different images. For the sake of completeness, we also show here the inhabitants with a migration background in Berlin. In this analysis, not only residents are recorded according to nationality, but also naturalised residents with a migration background. Using the example of the Turkish community, there is almost a doubling of the number of persons in comparison to the consideration by nationality, as is the case with Polish citizens. 

Migration by nationality

The residential ideal of the Berliners of the 1990s in suburban zones has given way to a continuing urbanization trend. The situation is similar in other major German cities and metropolitan regions such as Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich. In addition to attractive jobs, the cultural diversity also pulls people into the big cities. For a young and highly qualified "creative class", the conditions in the cities are just as attractive as for international newcomers, who find an anchor in the very well networked communities. The wave of migration from crisis areas, which kept Berlin busy for years and exerted additional pressure on the housing market, has almost completely abated. In the following chart we show how the inflows are distributed quantitatively. 

The nationalities of the migrations 2018

The largest group of immigrants in 2018 was Poland, with about 7,100 people, followed by about 6,700 Romanians, about 5,700 Bulgarians, almost 5,000 Americans and 4,650 Italians. A total of about 19,200 people moved from the bacon belt to Berlin, in the opposite direction the departures amounted to about 31,500 people. The immigration figures diverge when the perspective is changed from nationality to country of origin. An example: In 2018, 5,583 people moved to Berlin from the USA but only 4,904 of them were American citizens; the remaining people came from the USA but had different nationalities. 

Inflows and growth by districts

The analysis of the old districts of Berlin shows larger differences with regard to the inflow balances. The percentage increase is highest in Köpenick with 2.09 percent and lowest in Neukölln with 0.29 percent. In absolute figures, the growth in the balance is highest in Lichtenberg. Tiergarten grew the least strongly with a plus of 178 people. In the inner city districts, growth in 2018 was low. On balance, Neukölln gains just under 1,000 people, and Kreuzberg is also in this area. Friedrichshain stands out from the trend with 1.77 percent growth (2,359 persons) and Mitte (1.51 percent). More than half of the inner city districts are growing at less than 1 percent.

Bezirk Saldo 2018 Bevölkerung 2017 +/- Prozent 2018
Neukölln 974 334876 0.29
Schöneberg 528 154274 0.34
Wedding 788 182821 0.43
Zehlendorf 595 107250 0.55
Tempelhof 1199 202457 0.59
Spandau 1445 241794 0.60
Weißensee 532 88625 0.60
Kreuzberg 1097 158369 0.69
Reinickendorf 1813 263157 0.69
Wilmersdorf 1136 154380 0.74
Steglitz 1621 207070 0.78
Marzahn-Hellersdorf 2160 267786 0.81
Berlin Gesamt 33289 3772994 0.88
Prenzlauer Berg 1593 166967 0.95
Charlottenburg 1980 197978 1.00
Pankow 1556 151849 1.02
Tiergarten 178 14864 1.20
Moabit 1173 87133 1.35
Lichtenberg 4008 287353 1.39
Mitte 1575 104136 1.51
Treptow 2189 133436 1.64
Friedrichshain 2359 133128 1.77
Köpenick 2790 133291 2.09

Suburban movements

A clear picture can be seen in the suburban context. On balance, Berlin loses 12,251 people to the surrounding Brandenburg communities. 31,445 people left Berlin towards Brandenburg in 2018. This corresponds to 20 percent of total departures. There seem to be two fundamental tendencies in Berlin. On the one hand suburbanization tendencies in an international context, on the other hand migration tendencies to the Brandenburg area in the context of the metropolitan region.

A view of a quarter: Graefekiez

In recent years, a number of neighbourhoods have been associated with gentrification. Among others, the Graefekiez in Kreuzberg, the Reuterkiez in Kreuzkölln, Rixdorf in Neukölln, the Wrangelkiez in Kreuzberg, the Kaskelkiez in Lichtenberg, the Boxhagenerkiez in Friedrichshain and the Klausenerplatzkiez in Charlottenburg are regarded as gentrification focal points. We are looking at the Graefekiez. Further quarters and neighbourhoods will follow in later posts.

Graefekiez: International flair with 72 percent Germans

Already at the beginning of the 2000s, the Graefekiez was one of the internationally sought-after quarters in Berlin. The population on 31.12.2017 was 19,040 persons. From 2017 to 2018 the population decreased by 77 persons. Including Germans, people from 111 nationalities live in the Graefekiez. 13,730 have German citizenship and make up 72.11 percent of the population in the district. Just under 6 percent of the population has a Turkish passport. Italy ranks second in terms of foreign nationalities, followed by France, the USA, Great Britain, Bulgaria and Spain. 

Inflows Graefekiez 2018

Among the influxes in the Graefekiez, Italians hold first place among the international groups, followed by Great Britain, Bulgaria, France, the USA and Spain. The Turkish community seems to be stable, but without any noteworthy additions. This is confirmed by the examination of domestic migration by nationality, i.e. migration from other parts of Berlin to the Graefekiez.  

In the internal relationship, more outward than inward migration

Is the Graefekiez losing its attractiveness? For 2018, the figures show a clear trend: in competition with other neighbourhoods, the Graefekiez is losing popularity. The following chart shows the moves out of the Graefekiez and into the Graefekiez, coming exclusively from Berlin. On balance, the Graefekiez loses 433 inhabitants of all nationalities to other districts. 

Migratory chains Graefekiez

In our chart for migration chains, we show the subsequent migrations in the top neighborhoods starting from the Graefekiez. Most of the migrations from the Graefekiez are to the reuterkiez, Rixdorf, Reichenbergerstraße, Chamissoplatz and Urbanstraße. From all neighborhoods there are backward movements to Graefekiez and evasive movements to other neighborhoods. The pressure is highest in the Reuterkiez. In the interaction with Rixdorf, more influxes can be observed in Graefekiez than in the opposite direction.

A look at preferences by nationality.

Traditionally, certain nationalities have preferences for certain sites and quarters. Below we analyze some migration movements for you at county level.