DE3 Future development of the school population (Germany)


Germany depends largely on the overall education and qualification level of the population, with a high demand for skilled workers in the export-oriented industry. Therefore, in the development of society and the economy the education system plays a key role, and also characterizes the local situation in the cities and regions.

A range of high-quality schools is essential both for families when selecting a residential location and for business and enterprises as a “soft“ location factor. The number of children and adolescents will however decrease over the next 20 years by altogether about 13 %. This means that in many cases there is the threat of school closures. The decrease affects above all the rural areas in the old Länder (federal states), where decreases from 20% to well above 20% are the rule. The largest changes concern areas where the existing network of school locations is already rather thin with traditionally long routes to school, especially with regard to secondary schools.

Contributions to the current discussions and reforms of the education system are needed, which primarily concern the secondary schools. For instance, the dissolution of the tripartite school system in Germany (or adherence to it) must also take account of the aspects of the demographic development and the network of school sites.


By matching information on schools and populations forecasts on the development of children and adolescents it is possible to take more informed decisions and plan for the future.

Linked to

UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),

  • Goal 4 “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”

Europe 2020 > flagship initiative “Inclusive growth” > “An agenda for new skills and jobs”