"Go West, Young Man"!? Internal Migration in Germany between Reunification and Economic Crisis

Nikola Sander, Vienna Institute of Demography

This paper draws on migration flow data from the administrative register to study internal migration in Germany between a set of harmonised regions. By focusing on changes in the structure and trends in internal migration over the 15-year period 1995-2010, new insights are gained into the impact of reunification and economic prosperity on East-West migration and re-urbanization. The results demonstrate that reunification had a more profound impact on migration than the recent economic recession. Contrary to common expectation, the intensity of East-West migration was substantially lower than migration between East German regions throughout the period. Over the last decade, the East German cities of Berlin, Leipzig and Dresden have become attractive destinations not only for young adults but also for families. Across Germany, several large cities experienced renewed population growth, a trend that was driven by a cessation of the long-term trend of family out-migration to the cities’ suburban and non-metropolitan hinterlands.

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Presented in Poster Session 8