September 30, 2019 | News | Dossier

30 Years Fall of the Wall

© kallejipp/photocase.com

The Berlin Wall fell 30 years ago. Life in East and West Germany has now converged in many areas, but differences remain. In this dossier we have put together the East-West issue addressed by researchers at the MPIDR.

© andrey-fo / photocase.com

How united is Germany?
How demography – or, more precisely, the mortality rate, the birth rate, or health – has developed in East and West Germany since the fall of the Berlin Wall is being studied by a number of researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) using various approaches. Here they have their say.

Overview press releases

08.10.2019 | PRESS RELEASE
Highest mortality risks for poor and unemployed
For the first time, researchers calculated reliably how mortality in Germany depends on education, income or employment status. According to this, unemployment doubles the risk to die. And the death risk for the most disadvantaged group, men in the East, is eight times as high as for the most advantaged group.

This figure shows the mortality risk under the influencing factors income level and educational level for men and women in East and West Germany in 2013. This results in 20 different income and education groups, all of which are related to the reference value 1, the group with the highest education and the highest income. In East Germany, 14 percent of men belong to the group with the lowest income and the lowest education. Compared to the group of men with the highest income and the highest education, they have an eightfold risk of dying.
© MPIDR/Pavel Grigoriev

11.04.2019 | PRESS RELEASE
Lower Pension, Shorter Life
Income and social status have an increasing effect on life expectancy in Germany. On average, men with very low retirement pay die five years earlier than those who are much better off.

The poor lag farther and farther behind when it comes to life expectancy. The average number of remaining years at age 65 increases more for men in the highest income group than for those with lowest status. Data: German Pension Fund.
© MPIDR

08.01.2019 | PRESS RELEASE
Men no longer the strongersex
After reunification, men in East and West Germany felt healthier than women, but now that feeling has been reversed. Today, men consider themselves less healthy than women – especially in the East.

26.04.2018 | PRESS RELEASE
Risk of death in East Germany started declining before German Reunification
German reunification was not the only factor responsible for the rapid increase in life expectancy in East Germany. The process had already started ten years before, during the GDR regime, when mortality started falling substantially.

10.05.2017 | PRESS RELEASE
Women in East Germany forecasted to be more likely to die from smoking than in West Germany
Due to a silent but dramatic increase in the number of young East German women smoking after reunification, their death rates are forecasted to exceed those in the West within the next few decades. The deadly trend is hidden beneath a currently favorable trend in life expectancy.

Unexpected deaths from smoking: While the rate of deaths from lung cancer is forecasted to decline for women in West Germany, it will increase for women in the East and thereby overtake the rate in the West. The crossover is driven by dramatic changes in smoking behavior: While women in the West are decreasing their tobacco consumption intensity, smoking intensity for East German women is going up. Data: SOEP, WHO, Federal German Statistical Office and own calculations; Values after 2013 are forecasted.
© MPIDR

20.12.2016 | PRESS RELEASE
Less children per man than per woman
Birthrates for men in Germany made available for the first time. Men on average have less children then women and have them later in life. Differences are especially strong in eastern Germany, where men set a new world record for low fertility.

Men are dropping behind: Since 1991 the mean number of children per man in Germany has permanently lagged behind that of women by between 5 and 10 percent. The difference is especially large in eastern Germany. Since the big dip after German reunification in 1990, the birthrate of eastern German women has already overtaken that of women in western Germany, but male fertility in the east is still below that in the west. Data: German Federal Statistical Office/MPIDR calculations
© MPIDR

26.10.2015 | NEWS
Childhood shapes attitude to motherhood
Women in Eastern Germany on average have children earlier than women in the old Länder. But what about Eastern German women who migrated to the west? MPIDR-researcher Anja Vatterrott has looked at this question to determine whether it is external conditions or rather socialization that influences the birth behavior.

10.02.2015 | NEWS
Elderly with higher education are less likely to use long-term care
In a new study, MPIDR-researcher Olga Grigorieva has shown that people with higher education are less likely to use long-term care than people with lower education.

MPIDR Experts

Health in East and West Germany
Press and Public Relations

The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.