Newly revised demographic projections for Germany paint a more optimistic picture than previous estimates. The European Statistical Office, for example, now expects Germany’s population to continue growing for the next 20 years. Recent record immigration flows have prompted demographers to change their net migration assumptions going forward.
Yet in the past, such assumptions turned out to be wrong more often than not. Moreover, under any projection, Germany will remain an aging society, which will put growing strains on social security systems and public finances. The corresponding policy challenges will remain.
Present projections in our view even underestimate life expectancy to a significant degree. This Economic Insight looks behind the new population forecasts and suggests some policy implications.