Germany: Statistical Review of 2023

In its 75th anniversary year, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) reflects on the year through over 600 press releases, encapsulating the “world in numbers.” Here’s a statistical overview of key events:

January: Population Reaches Record High

  • Germany starts the year with a record population of around 84.4 million, driven by a net migration of 960,000 from Ukraine due to the Russian war.
  • Net migration in 2022 surpasses 1.46 million, four times higher than in 2021.
  • Population further increases to 84.6 million by September 2023.

February: Rising Construction Costs and Stalled Housing

  • Pressure on the housing market intensifies due to population growth.
  • Only 295,300 new homes were completed in 2022, far below the government’s target of 400,000.
  • Building material prices surge, leading to a more than 15% YoY increase in the cost of new residential construction in February 2023.

March: German Economy Stagnates

  • GDP remains unchanged in Q1 2023, with a slight 0.1% growth in Q2 but declines by 0.1% in Q3.
  • Concerns arise about a technical recession with consecutive quarterly declines.
  • Full-year economic outlook to be revealed on January 15, 2024.

April: Shutdown of Last German Nuclear Power Plants

  • Staged operation ends for the last three German nuclear power plants on April 15, marking the end of nuclear power generation.
  • Coal power generation decreases by nearly a quarter in H1 2023.
  • Solar capacity expands, with photovoltaic installations up by 20% in March 2023.

May: Increase in Alcohol-Related Accidents

  • Alcohol-related accidents, especially on weekends, rise in May, with the notorious “Father’s Day” being a peak.
  • Anticipated over 2.5 million accidents in 2023, a 4% increase from 2022.
  • Despite the rise, road fatalities are expected to decrease by nearly 40 to around 2,750.

June: Celebrating 75 Years of Democracy through Data

  • Destatis commemorates its 75th anniversary in June, highlighting the importance of data in democracy.
  • Several publications examine long-term trends in the economy, population, education, households, and construction.
  • Data recognized as crucial for informed discourse and combating misinformation.

July: Highest Number of Air Passengers Since the Pandemic

  • Despite higher overseas flight costs, July sees the highest number of passengers at German airports since the start of the pandemic.
  • Approximately 19.4 million passengers, 15% below July 2019 but 14% higher than July 2022.
  • Spain tops the list of favored destinations.

August: Highest Number of School Enrollments in 20 Years

  • School year 2023/2024 witnesses the highest number of children entering school in 20 years: 830,600, up 2.1% from the previous year.
  • Higher birth rates and increased immigration contribute to the surge.
  • University enrollment, however, decreases for the second consecutive year.

September: Historic High in Employment and Slight Real Wage Increase

  • Q3 2023 sees a record-high employment of over 46 million.
  • Real wages increase by 0.6% YoY in Q2, supported by reduced inflation and a minimum wage hike in October 2022.

October: Household Energy Remains Expensive in the Heating Season

  • Despite energy price controls, household energy remains over 50% more expensive than in 2020.
  • In 2022, around 5.5 million people faced challenges heating their homes due to financial constraints.

November: Inflation Rate Drops to Lowest Since June 2021

  • In November 2023, the inflation rate drops for the fifth consecutive month to 3.2%, the lowest since June 2021.
  • Food prices remain significantly higher, with a 5.5% increase YoY.
  • Monthly consumer spending rises in 2022 by 8.5%, reaching €2,846 on average.

December: Long-Term Boom in Online Retail and Increased Firework Imports

  • Online retail shows significant growth, with a 172% real increase from 2012 to 2022.
  • Firework imports surge, reaching around 24,400 tons in January-September 2023, nearly four times the previous year, though still below pre-pandemic levels.