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Who Exactly are We, the Berliners?

We are Berliners. There are 3.75 million of us today. But who exactly are we? How diverse are we? Who are our neighbors?

On one of the hottest days ever in Berlin, in the middle of the city state’s official summer vacation, many domestic and regional news items were not really noticed. That’s o.k., since many of them were not too important. But at least one was.

Thirty-Seven Pages

The Office of Statistics for Berlin and Brandenburg released 37 pages of interesting data hardly anyone checked out because it was simply too hot, or because those who would have read the report were busy pouring Piña Colada down their throats on the beaches of Ibiza.

Well, let’s look at the numbers now because they tell us who we are. We, the Berliners. There are Berliners who were born in Berlin. Others were born hundreds or even thousands of miles away, but they still call Berlin their home, because it is.

The number of kids under the age of 6 is increasing. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

One thing is certain: We are a rather big bunch of people. On June 30th, 2019 our number was 3,754,418. Exactly 1,896,029 of us were female and 1,858,389 male. Out of all Berliners, 2,995,868 were Germans, meaning they had German passports, and 758,550 were foreigners.

Number of Foreigners on the Rise

Looking at the number of Berliners since 1992 reveals something which is hardly surprising: This city is growing rather quickly. In 1992, 3,456,891 people called themselves Berliners. In the year 2000, there were 3,331,232 of us, meaning the city had shrunk. But in the past 19 years we have grown by 400,000 people.

There is more the numbers say about us, the Berliners. We are middle-aged, just like the best Gouda cheese available. A few weeks ago, exactly 1,184,090 of us were 25 to 45 years old, 779,170 were 45 to 60. The number of children under 6 years of age skyrocketed in the past years. In 2000, there were around 165,000 of them, today there are more than 226,000.

Regarding the number of foreign Berliners, big changes have been recorded in the past 12 years. Let’s pick the district with most residents. It is Pankow, 407,765 residents. In 2007, 26,573 foreigners lived there. By today, their number has more than doubled to 57,166 while the number of Germans did not nearly grow as quickly.

The Nationalities of Berliners

The numbers provided by the Office of Statistics also prove we, the Berliners, are getting older. Our average age is 42.9 today. It used to be 42.5 in 2007. When we look at the average age by district, differences are obvious. In Charlottenburg Wilmersdorf, a rather posh district, it is 45.6, in Steglitz Zehlendorf even 46.3. On the other hand, the average age of Berliners in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg is 38.2.

Let’s get to one of the most interesting parts: Were are we from? At this stage, Berlin has 282,557 residents from European Union countries other than Germany. On June 30th, 20,025 French citizens were registered in Berlin, 14,566 Greeks and 31,030 Italians. Also there were 11,816 Austrians, 14,952 Spaniards and 16,177 Britons.

This is what Berlin, our home, looks like from the TV tower, which by the way just turned 50. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

Now hold on to your hats. The number of Polish Berliners is 57,636, while 30,188 Bulgarian residents were counted in the German capital. A total of 25,717 Russians live in Berlin.

Many African Berliners

But that number is being topped by the Turkish residents of Berlin. There are 98,592 of them. Berlin has 8542 inhabitants from Iran, 8246 from Lebanon, 38,187 from Syria and 5400 from Israel.

Let’s get to the U.S. citizens registered in Berlin. There are 21,606 of them and just over 4000 Canadians. Also Berlin has as many as 34,584 African residents. Among them, the largest group comes from Nigeria. There are 3362 Nigerians in Berlin.

And there are almost 22,000 Latin Americans, including 2571 Mexicans and 6939 Brazilians. Far more Asians live in Berlin, 165,760 of them, to be precise. When we look at the Far East only, the largest group is that of the Vietnamese. There are 18,241 of them, 12,514 Chinese and 10,675 Indian citizens.

This is who we, the Berliners, are. Those who want all details can check out the entire report, in German, themselves. It is accessible here.

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