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The population is a common measure for general demographics and for special local sizes .


The number of inhabitants of an area , such as a country, area, region, city, municipality, village or similar, is collected for official statistics via a census through direct surveys. According to modern statistical standards, a census can be continued for at least a decade after a single survey. In India, the Aadhaar program took place in 2012 , a comprehensive census of the 1.2 billion inhabitants using biometric data.

If, on the other hand, the data are obtained from official registers, one speaks of register counting (population register- based population). With the modern data acquisition in the reporting system , the classic regular population censuses have become increasingly superfluous, demographic data can be permanently recorded promptly,

The population density , i.e. the number of inhabitants per square kilometer , results from the amount of population and the total area of ​​the area under consideration.

The temporal change in the number of inhabitants describes the population or population development . Another index for the detection of population -Statistics is the population pyramid , which is a different precipitating depending on the spatial structure of age, not the total number.



Official population

The official population figures of the federal states, districts and municipalities are determined and published in Germany by the state statistical offices . Until 2013, the population figures were extrapolated on the basis of the census of 1981 in East Germany and 1987 in West Germany. On May 31, 2013, the result of the census of May 9, 2011 was published, on the basis of which the official population figures have been updated since then, taking into account the change reports from the registration offices and the registry offices. The residents include all citizens, regardless of their citizenship or nationality, provided they are entitled to reside in the municipality. Only the residents with main residence in the municipality are recorded.

The Federal Constitutional Court ruled on September 19, 2018 that the results of the 2011 census were constitutionally obtained and could be used as the starting point for the subsequent updates.

The official population figures form the basis for the application of numerous laws and ordinances such as financial allocations, constituencies, number of council seats and parliamentary seats. The data published by the regional statistical offices have the municipality as the lowest reference level. The Population Statistics Act in conjunction with the Federal Statistics Act serves as the nationwide legal basis .

Population register-based population

Population register-based population figures are only used for internal community purposes such as infrastructure planning and are obtained by city or municipal administrations from the municipal population register. All persons registered in the community are registered there, regardless of their housing status under registration law. The population on the basis of the register of residents includes all persons registered with their main or secondary residence in the municipality. It has no legally binding character and is not published continuously for all German municipalities.

Comparison of official and registration-based population figures

Because of the different definitions of the term “ residents ”, the information provided by the city or local authority cannot be compared with that of the state statistical offices and is unsuitable for inter-communal comparisons. Only the official number of inhabitants is used for this, as it is determined for all municipalities according to the same criteria. For methodological reasons, the population register-based population figures differ from the updated official population figures of the state statistical offices; mostly, but not always, upwards. The following table lists some examples from 2016:

city Official
population as of
December 31, 2016
Counting of the
population register
on December 31, 2016
in percent
Berlin 3,574,830 3,670,622 +2.7
Hamburg 1,810,438 1,860,759 +2.8
Munich 1,464,301 1,524,024 +4.1
Nuremberg 511,628 529,407 +3.5
Kaiserslautern 99,302 100,569 +1.3
Gutersloh 98,466 100,716 +2.3


In Austria, since the 2011 census, only an automated register census has been carried out to determine the official population. The 2001 census was the last classic census with a survey of all households. In 2005 there was a random sample census to validate the procedure, in 2006 the Register Census Act (Federal Law Gazette I No. 33/2006) was published, a turning point in the 150-year census system in Austria. Since then, the population figures have been collected annually in order to ensure fair financial equalization between the federal, state and municipalities (with a reference date of January 1 of this year). These are also published online. Full register enumeration can take place every five years.


In Switzerland , the number obtained from the census is also known as the number of inhabitants under civil law .

The population register-based population is the economic population , it is determined by the political municipality .

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Population  - Explanation of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Federal Statistical Office: Press release of May 31, 2013 . Retrieved May 31, 2013.
  2. Census according to the constitution - city states fail in Karlsruhe - Mannheimer Morgen . Retrieved October 28, 2018.
  3. ^ Office for Statistics Berlin-Brandenburg : Population Register
  4. Statistical Office for Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein : Population in Hamburg, counting from the register of residents
  5. ^ State capital Munich, editor: Population . Retrieved October 28, 2018.
  6. DUVA-ASW . Retrieved October 28, 2018.
  7. Kaiserslautern is big city again! - City of Kaiserslautern . Retrieved October 28, 2018.
  8. Home . Retrieved October 28, 2018.
  9. a b register count. Statistics Austria