GfK Demographics: Regensburg emerges as Germany's new singles capital (DE)

Regensburg pushes ahead of Berlin to become Germany's new singles capital. With 55.8% of its population consisting of single-person households, Regensburg significantly outpaces the national average of 39.5%. Only 12.7% of Berlin's households are occupied by immigrants, which gives the city a ranking of 37. These are some of the results of GfK GeoMarketing's new GfK Demographics 2010 study.

Regensburg: Germany's new singles capital
The percentage of Germany's single-person households in 2010 was 39.5% - about the same as the preceding year. GfK GeoMarketing annually calculates the regional distribution of household types as part of its GfK Demographics study. One notable development in this year's study is Regensburg's emergence as Germany's new singles capital. With 55.8% of its population consisting of single-person households, Regensburg has a 1.5 percentage point lead over Berlin.

"The share of younger households - which includes single-person households - is particularly high in mid-sized cities with a disproportionately large university or college," explains Simone Baecker-Neuchl, Head of Market Data & Research at GfK GeoMarketing.

"Regensburg's ascendancy to the top spot is a result of its fulfillment of these criteria. In major urban areas such as Berlin, the overall number of students doesn't tip the balance as much, although these cities still boast large numbers of single-person households thanks to their attraction to young people wishing to establish their careers."

In 2010, the share of Germany's multiple-person households without children was 31.1%, which exceeded the amount of households with children (29.4%). While single-person households tend to be concentrated in large cities, family households are particularly numerous in rural areas. At 43.8%, the Bavarian rural district of Landshut has the nation's highest percentage of family households, followed by nearby Kelheim (43.5%) and Straubing-Bogen (43.1%).

Age distribution
At 34.5%, senior households comprise Germany's most well represented group, followed by 40-49 year-olds at 21.4%, 50-59 year-olds at 17.1% and 30-39 year-olds at 15.3%. Young households – with household heads under 30 – are the nation's most underrepresented group at 11.6%.

As in the previous year, the greatest share of young households is located in the university city of Greifswald, where 21.5% of the household heads are younger than 30. Leipzig and Jena follow with 21.1% and 20.1%, respectively. Unsurprisingly, other mid-sized cities with universities are among the top 10, including Freiburg im Breisgau, Heidelberg and Regensburg.

Dispelling misconception about Berlin and immigrants
In addition to household type, the study reveals additional socio-demographic characteristics, including the regional share of immigrant households. At 12.7%, the nation's capital of Berlin - often the center of debates on immigration - ranks just 37. While this level is 4.2 percentage points above the national average (8.2%), it still falls 7 to 10 percentage points below the rates that characterize cities such as Offenbach am Main, Munich and Ludwigshafen.

Income levels
The GfK Demographics study also reveals the income levels of all households of a given region. These are grouped into seven brackets according to the level of disposable monthly income. In contrast to GfK Purchasing Power, which reveals the average available income, these income brackets indicate the number of wealthy and poor households in a given area and as such give insight into income distribution.

The study has included a separate income bracket for top-earning households since 2008. This category applies to households with a monthly disposable income (including national benefits such as unemployment benefit, child benefit and pensions) of €7,500 and above. An above-average number of wealthy households are located in the southern federal states of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg; in North Rhine-Westphalia (particularly in the large cities of Bonn, Cologne and Düsse

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