Our population is growing ever smaller, more elderly and more colourful. These three underlying changes are key to the demographic transformation taking place in our society. Ever fewer children are being born, people are living longer and an increasing proportion of Stuttgart's population has its roots in a different cultural background.
Between 2001 and 2005, for instance, the proportion of over-65s in our population grew by almost eleven per cent. This demographic imbalance is exacerbated by a reduction of almost five per cent in the 18 - 45 year-old age range. Forecasts envisage a substantial exaggeration of this trend by 2020.
- Living demographics. Photo: ccvision.de
Redressing the demographic balance
Although the large influx of immigrants has kept the problem of population shrinkage and ageing in Stuttgart marginally better in check than in many other cities, there is still an urgent need to reverse the demographic shift if our city is to retain its leading position as an attractive location. While young people must be offered incentives to bring children into the world, at the same time provision must be made for the rising number of elderly residents, for instance by making available the conditions for everyday barrier-free living.
Programs and initiatives
A number of programs and initiatives have been in place in Stuttgart for some time which are concerned either directly or indirectly with the challenges posed by demographic transformation.
Demographic Transformation Project
The Stuttgart Pact of Generations and Demographics in the Districts both adopt a thoroughly direct approach to the subject, one aspect of which is to involve the residents themselves. Politics alone is not enough to meet the challenges of demographic transformation. Civil commitment is essential, for instance within the framework of future conferences.