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Old Posted Jan 17, 2016, 3:03 PM
New Brisavoine New Brisavoine is offline
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Now that we have the results of the 2013 French census which allows us to calculate the growth rate of the French metro areas in 2012, this is the first post-2011 EU censuses year for which we can make comparisons between the French and German metro areas for a full year (all population figures for the German metro areas were revised down after the results of the German May 2011 census were published).

For the German metro areas, we don't have precise definitions of their extents based on commuter flows as exist in France, but I've used the definitions of the forumer Chrissib at SSC (map below), which are a good approximation I would say.

Only the Berlin "metro area" here is a bit over extended, because Chrissib used entire German districts (Kreise), and the districts in Brandenburg are pretty extended, so that they include large and distant rural areas with no significant relation or commuter flows to Berlin.

So for Berlin I've used a more narrow definition of the metro area, one that is proposed by the local authorities of Berlin and Brandenburg. This more narrow definition of the Berlin metro area is defined at the municipality (Gemeinde) level, and includes the city-state of Berlin + 69 municipalities in Brandenburg. You can see its extent below, with its land area compared to the Munich metro area (both maps at the same scale).

Note that by using this more narrow definition of the Berlin metro area it pushes the Berlin growth rate up, since depressed and declining rural areas of Brandenburg are removed, but that's a more faithful representation of the Berlin growth I would say.

So... now for the results!

Relative growth rate of the metro areas in 2012:
- Bordeaux: +1.72%
- Montpellier: +1.66%
- Toulouse: +1.63%
- Munich: +1.54%
- Rennes: +1.48%
- Berlin: +1.31%
- Geneva (CH + FR): +1.30% (French part: +2.74% ; Swiss part: +0.53%)
- Nantes: +1.24%
- Lyon: +1.07%
- Angers: +0.87%
- Lille: +0.80%
- Stuttgart: +0.77%
- Rhine-Main: +0.75%
- Hamburg: +0.70%
- Dijon: +0.70%
- Tours: +0.68%
- Avignon: +0.67%
- Grenoble: +0.67%
- Clermont-Ferrand: +0.64%
- Strasbourg: +0.60%
- Orléans: +0.56%
- Paris: +0.52%
- Saint-Etienne: +0.47%
- Caen: +0.44%
- Marseille: +0.42%
- Rouen: +0.30%
GERMANY: +0.24%
- Toulon: +0.12%
- Rhine-Ruhr: +0.09%
- Metz: +0.05%
- Nice: -0.01%
- Douai-Lens: -0.31%
- Nancy: -0.39%

As in France, the largest German metro areas grow above the national rate, but perhaps even more so than in France. Unsurprisingly the Rhine-Ruhr is the only one below the national rate, but it is now growing again after years of decline, due to Germany's renewed inflows of international immigrants.

For Germany, contrary to France, we already have the metro area growth rates for 2013 and 2014. What's surprising is one would expect Munich to have grown even more in 2013 and 2014 due to the fact that Germany absorbed even more immigrants during these two years than in 2012, but in fact the opposite happened! The Munich metro area went from a growth rate of +1.54% in 2012 to +1.42% in 2013 to +1.29% in 2014. I frankly did not expect that.

This necessarily means that other metro areas must have absorbed these larger waves of immigrants. Judging from the figures I have for only the metro areas listed here, it seems it's essentially the Rhine-Ruhr and Rhine-Main metro areas which absorbed this increasing number of international immigrants in 2013 and 2014. The growth rate of the Rhine-Main went from +0.75% in 2012 to +1.07% in 2014, whereas the growth rate of the Rhine-Ruhr went from just +0.09% in 2012 to +0.39% in 2014. This last figure of course has a special resonance given what happened in Cologne on New Year's Eve. Given that the Rhine-Ruhr has the largest birth deficit of all large German metro areas (way more deaths than births), for it to reach +0.39% in 2014 means it must have absorbed more than 100,000 immigrants in just one year!

Which leads me to... the net migration figures.

Same as I did with the French metro areas, I've calculated the net migration of the German metro areas by subtracting the natural change (births minus deaths) from the total population growth. And this is what we get.

(note that for the metro areas the net migration figure is both the sum of international net migration AND domestic net migration, whereas for Germany and Metropolitan France it's only international net migration, and also migration from overseas France in the case of Metropolitan France; Metropolitan France means the European part of France, not the metro areas of France)

Net migration of the metro areas, Germany, and Metropolitan France in 2012:
GERMANY: +368,945
- Berlin: +56,258
- Rhine-Ruhr: +44,121
- Munich: +34,521
- Rhine-Main: +32,318
- Hamburg: +25,078
- Stuttgart: +20,711

- Bordeaux: +15,193
- Toulouse: +12,312
- Lyon: +6,386
- Geneva (FR + CH): +6,343 (French part: +5,826 ; Swiss part: +517)
- Montpellier: +6,085
- Rennes: +5,478
- Nantes: +5,283
- Nîmes: +4,255
- Perpignan: +3,416
- Béziers: +3,320
- Bayonne: +3,188
- Annecy: +2,940
- Clermont-Ferrand: +1,666
- Tours: +1,550
- Avignon: +1,282
- Dijon: +1,189
- Angers: +1,167
- Strasbourg: +943
- Toulon: +764
- Saint-Etienne: +531
- Grenoble: +506
- Lille: +353
- Caen: +245
- Orléans: -325
- Marseille: -1,006
- Metz: -1,170
- Rouen: -1,282
- Nice: -1,439
- Nancy: -3,108
- Douai-Lens: -3,471
- Paris: -46,551

What's crazy is in France, metro areas like Bordeaux or Toulouse are considered super attractive, but the largest German metro areas have net migration figures all considerably higher than those of Bordeaux and Toulouse. This is of course because Germany had way more immigrants than France in 2012, but I think it's also because the large German metro areas polarize the country much more than the French ones. In France, dozens of smaller metro areas along the Atlantic and Mediterranean arc attract people, whereas in Germany, besides the fact that more international immigrants arrive, it seems the German people move preferably to only a few large metro areas.

Another interesting thing is, contrary to what one could have expected, it's not Munich that had the highest net migration after Berlin, but the Rhine-Ruhr. I haven't made calculations for 2013 and 2014, but it's almost certain that in 2014 the Rhine-Ruhr passed Berlin and had by far the largest net migration figure of all German metro areas.

Now if we look at the natural change (births minus deaths), things are of course pretty different.

These are the French metro areas with the highest rates of natural change (births minus deaths divided by total population at the start of period) in 2012. No German metro area is found here:
- Paris: +0.90%
- Lyon: +0.78%
- Lille: +0.77%
- Rennes: +0.69%
- Toulouse: +0.66%
- Nantes: +0.65%
- Orléans: +0.64%

All the large German metro areas are found among the French metro areas with the worst rates of natural change:
- Metz: +0.35%
- Douai-Lens: +0.33%
- Nancy: +0.33%
- Clermont-Ferrand: +0.29%
- Munich: +0.20%
- Perpignan: +0.16%
- Nice: +0.13%
- La Rochelle: +0.09%
- Béziers: +0.09%
- Berlin: +0.02%
- Toulon: -0.00%
- Stuttgart: -0.02%
- Bayonne: -0.04%
- Rhine-Main: -0.04%
- Hamburg: -0.10%
GERMANY: -0.24%
- Rhine-Ruhr: -0.30%

The rate of natural change shows what the population growth would be if net migration was 0 (as many people leaving as coming). With 0 net migration, the Rhine-Ruhr would have declined by 0.30% in 2012.

What's interesting here is the fact that despite having pretty bad rates of natural change, the large German metro areas are still doing better than the national average, pretty much like what's happening in France. It means that in Germany as in France, the large metro areas attract the young people and repulse the old people, and that the rest of the country is older and dying more.

The Rhine-Ruhr has a unique combination of the worst natural change and the biggest (as of 2014) net migration. It's the exact opposite of Paris.
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Old Posted Jan 18, 2016, 3:26 AM
Crawford Crawford is offline
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Originally Posted by New Brisavoine View Post
The Rhine-Ruhr has a unique combination of the worst natural change and the biggest (as of 2014) net migration. It's the exact opposite of Paris.
The Rhein-Ruhr isn't really a metro area. It's just a cluster of cities, with very different demographic trends. IMO it's hard to draw a larger conclusion because there are very different things happening in, say, Cologne, and happening in Bottrop.

Some cities in Rhein-Ruhr are still declining postindustrial places, others are very white collar and booming, others are somewhere in the middle. The Cologne-Bonn and Duesseldorf areas are too different culturally and economically to compare to the Ruhr, IMO.

I also suspect migration to Germany is somewhat more hyperconcentrated than in France. Yes, Paris obviously receives a huge bulk of migrants, but most French cities appear to have visible migrant populations. Germany's 10 or so largest "metros" have huge immigrant populations, but you see very few immigrants in former East Germany outside of Berlin, or really anywhere in rural/small town Germany.

I would say Stuttgart, Munich, Mannheim-Heidelberg, Nuremberg, Frankfurt, Cologne, Duesseldorf, Ruhrgebiet, Hamburg and Berlin are the cities with very large foreign populations. Basically only big cities in the center and south, and less so in the north and east. Mannheim feels much more "foreign" than somewhere like Bremen, and even Bremen feels much more "foreign" compared to Dresden.
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Old Posted Jan 20, 2016, 5:39 PM
New Brisavoine New Brisavoine is offline
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The French statistical office INSEE has released its Jan. 2016 population estimates and preliminary data for the demographic situation during the year 2015!

As was to be expected following the publication of the 2013 census results on New Year's Eve, which showed that net migration in 2012 had been higher than what INSEE guesstimated, the population estimates of France have been revised up, but not that much up. INSEE is still refusing to acknowledge the actual level of migration to France.

Last year, INSEE guesstimated that net migration in France had been +33,000 each year in 2012, 2013, and 2014 (+45,000 in Metropolitan France, as more people from overseas France are moving to Metropolitan France than the other way around), and based its population estimates on that guesstimate. The 2013 census showed that net migration in 2012 had in fact been +72,336 and not +33,000 (in Metropolitan France it had been +90,831 and not +45,000).

As a consequence, INSEE has revised its guesstimates of net migration for 2013, 2014, and now 2015, but not by as much I would have imagined or as would make sense. Now they guesstimate that net migration in France was +47,000 each year in 2013, 2014, and 2015 (up from +33,000 guesstimated last year), and for Metropolitan France +61,000 each year (up from +45,000 guesstimated last year).

These guesstimates are lower than the reality observed in 2012 by the 2013 census, and there is no reason why immigration would have decreased since 2012, especially in 2015 when France welcomed many more refugees than in previous years. So I think INSEE is still underestimating net migration, and therefore the population of France, by several tens of thousands of people. The 2015 net migration figure of +47,000, in particular, flies frankly in the face of reality.

We'll find out for sure when the results of the 2014, 2015, and 2016 censuses are published. For now we have to make do with these official INSEE estimates.

As a result of these little revisions upwards, it turns out the population of France on Jan. 1, 2015 was not 66,317,994 as INSEE had said last year, but it was 66,380,602 (as INSEE is saying now, and probably more in reality).

On Jan. 1, 2016, the population of France is estimated by INSEE at 66,627,602. This figure does not include the overseas collectivities. If they are included, then the population of the entire French Republic is 67,239,000, but this number is probably underestimated by at least 100,000 due to the underestimation of net migration.

As for the population of the part of France that is in the EU, which is yet another figure, it was estimated by INSEE at 66,662,800 on Jan. 1, 2016. This is the population figure that is used by the EU institutions when they make all their calculations, like the weight of the French president's vote in the European Council when there is qualified majority voting, and so on.

Now regarding what happened in 2015, migration figures are useless like I said, being mere guesstimates, so only vital statistics are of any value here. According to the preliminary figures released by INSEE, the big news is not so much the rise in the number of deaths (a strong flu epidemic last year, a heat wave in the summer, and a sudden cold snap in October explain this higher death rate, but these are old people who would have died anyway sooner or later, so what it means is there will probably be a decrease in the number of deaths in 2016). No, the big news is the decrease in the number of births.

Approximately 800,000 births were registered in France (excluding the overseas collectivities) in 2015, down from 818,565 in 2014. INSEE is downplaying it in the media by saying French births have hovered around 800,000 for the past ten years, so nothing particularly special in 2015, move along people. I don't quite agree with them. First of all, French births since the year 2000 were always above 800,000, often by a comfortable margin of 20,000 to 30,000. If they turn out to be just at 800,000, that would be a noticeable decline. It would be the lowest number of births in France since 2003.

Then, and perhaps more worryingly, it's not just that there are less women of child-bearing age. Of course the numerous women born during the post-WW2 baby boom are now more than 40 y/o, so the number of births in France is going to decline over the coming years, no matter what, because there will be less women of child-bearing age, and the same will happen (and is happening) in the entire Western world. Yet in 2015 it's not just that there were less women of child-bearing age, but it's also the case that, according to the preliminary figures of INSEE, the fertility rate (TFR) of France in 2015 declined for the first time in 10 years by a statistically significant magnitude (i.e. more than 0.02 decline in one year).

Since 2006, with women ending their delaying of births which had started in the mid-1970s, the TFR of France was every year at or above 2.00 (except in 2007 when it was at 1.99). In 2014, it was still at 2.00. In 2015 it apparently fell to 1.96 (if these preliminary figures are confirmed). That's the lowest TFR registered in France since 2005, and it's worrying because contrary to what happened in the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s, women are not delaying their births anymore (or at least not significantly).

Of course, these are just preliminary figures. They could still be revised up (or down). In previous years, the preliminary birth figures of INSEE published in January were revised by +/-5,000 when the final numbers were known (for example in January 2011 INSEE said there were 828,000 births in France in its preliminary figures, but in fact there were 832,799 births that year).

If they are confirmed, or worse if they turn out to be below 800,000, I think the French authorities will have to ask themselves some questions. François Hollande cut the French child policy budgets in the past 2 years, arguing that he was only targeting the benefits of "rich" parents and that it would have no incidence on the birth rate. Of course a decline of 0.04 in the TFR over a period of one year is too little to draw conclusions, as one demographer said in Le Figaro. It could be just a blip in the curve and all will be back to "normal" in 2016, but if there is a further decline in 2016, then we could be witnessing the start of the same sort of decline in fertility that the US have experienced since 2008. If that happens, I expect the issue of child policies will become an important subject in the 2017 presidential elections (the preliminary 2016 TFR figures will be published by INSEE 4 months because the elections).

The good news is if the Right come back to power, they'll probably reinstitate the child benefits for rich families that Hollande cut. The family lobby in France is extremely strong (various very strong pro-family and pro-natality associations and groups were created between 1890-1940 when France experienced its tragic collapse in births), and they will certainly ask presidential candidates questions about that.

PS: Some Right-wing journalists and politicians are already tweeting sarcastically that François Hollande didn't manage to invert the unemployment curve ("I will invert the unemployment curve by the end of the year" was one of his famous stupid statements at the start of his presidency), but that he has successfully managed to invert the natality curve.
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Last edited by New Brisavoine; Jan 20, 2016 at 6:02 PM.
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Old Posted Jan 21, 2016, 9:27 PM
New Brisavoine New Brisavoine is offline
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Here are the French and German municipalities of more than 10,000 inhabitants which had the highest population growths and population decreases in 2012. I have also included the arrondissements of Paris, Lyon, and Marseille, as well as the urban districts of Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, and Frankfurt with more than 10,000 inhabitants.

The one with the highest growth in 2012 was a surprise for me! (although of course if we selected municipalities with less than 10,000 inh. we could find higher relative growth around Toulouse, Geneva, and Disneyland Paris)

German municipalities and urban districts are in bold.

Population growth in 2012:
- Kalbach-Riedberg (urban district of Frankfurt): +16.84%
- Porto-Vecchio (Corsica): +12.82%
- Castanet-Tolosan (suburb of Toulouse): +8.29%
- Limeil-Brévannes (suburb of Paris): +8.12%
- Castelnau-le-Lez (suburb of Montpellier): +7.04%
- Ramonville-Saint-Agne (suburb of Toulouse): +6.86%
- Wattignies (suburb of Lille): +6.00%
- Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume (exurb of Marseille): +5.81%
- Saint-Martin-de-Crau (Provence): +5.51%
- Massy (suburb of Paris): +5.46%
- Sainte-Luce-sur-Loire (suburb of Nantes): +5.34%
- La Roche-sur-Foron (Savoy): +5.16%
- Persan (exurb of Paris): +5.13%
- Maripasoula (French Guiana): +5.09%
- Monteux (in the Avignon conurbation): +5.06%
- Lieusaint (suburb of Paris): +5.00%
- Villebon-sur-Yvette (suburb of Paris): +4.92%
- Onet-le-Château (suburb of Rodez): +4.82%
- Valenton (suburb of Paris): +4.81%
- Balma (suburb of Toulouse): +4.80%
- Rumilly (Savoy): +4.79%
- Guidel (exurb of Lorient): +4.68%
- Remire-Montjoly (suburb of Cayenne): +4.59%
- Saint-Jacques-de-la-Lande (suburb of Rennes): +4.54%
- Draguignan (Provence): +4.53%
- Biscarrosse (Gascony): +4.42%
- Seynod (suburb of Annecy): +4.39%
- Lavaur (Upper Languedoc): +4.38%
- Colomiers (suburb of Toulouse): +4.37%
- Saint-Estève (suburb of Perpignan): +4.26%
- Bruges (suburb of Bordeaux): +4.21%
- Merheim (urban district of Cologne): +4.13%
- Lichtenberg (urban district of Berlin; this is the Ortsteil Lichtenberg, not the Bezirk Lichtenberg): +4.11%
- Rosny-sous-Bois (suburb of Paris): +4.09%
- Cogolin (French Riviera): +4.08%
- Trappes (suburb of Paris): +4.05%
- La Chapelle-sur-Erdre (suburb of Nantes): +3.97%
- Ostheim (urban district of Cologne): +3.94%
- Vigneux-sur-Seine (suburb of Paris): +3.88%
- Châteauneuf-les-Martigues (suburb of Marseille): +3.88%
- Cachan (suburb of Paris): +3.87%
- Saint-Julien-en-Genevois (suburb of Geneva): +3.82%
- Altona-Altstadt (urban district of Hamburg): +3.82%
- Amilly (suburb of Montargis): +3.79%
- Glinde (suburb of Hamburg): +3.76%
- Le Bourget (suburb of Paris): +3.76%
- Valbonne (suburb of Nice): +3.75%
- Tiergarten-Süd (urban district of Berlin): +3.75%
- Gaillac (Upper Languedoc): +3.72%
- Gaillard (suburb of Geneva): +3.72%
- Haselhorst (urban district of Berlin): +3.68%
- Francheville (suburb of Lyon): +3.64%
- Bayonne: +3.57%
- Cesson-Sévigné (suburb of Rennes): +3.57%
- Villeneuve-le-Roi (suburb of Paris): +3.53%
- Mantes-la-Jolie (suburb of Paris): +3.53%
- Décines-Charpieu (suburb of Lyon): +3.53%
- Ambarès-et-Lagrave (suburb of Bordeaux): +3.52%
- Corbeil-Essonnes (suburb of Paris): +3.51%
- Macouria (exurb of Cayenne): +3.50%
- Orly (suburb of Paris): +3.46%
- Maizières-lès-Metz (suburb of Metz): +3.42%
- Bockenheim (urban district of Frankfurt): +3.41%
- Saint-André-de-Cubzac (exurb of Bordeaux): +3.35%
- Castelsarrasin (borders of Languedoc and Gascony): +3.34%
- Eysines (suburb of Bordeaux): +3.32%
- Annemasse (main suburb of Geneva on French soil): +3.30%
- Palaiseau (suburb of Paris): +3.29%
- Olivet (suburb of Orléans): +3.29%
- Trets (suburb of Marseille): +3.24%
- Teltow (suburb of Berlin): +3.23%
- Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez (in coastal Vendée): +3.20%
- Sainte-Marie (suburb of St Denis, La Réunion): +3.19%
- Tarare (between Lyon and Roanne): +3.19%
- Oberschöneweide (urban district of Berlin): +3.19%
- Le Luc (Provence): +3.13%
- Lézignan-Corbières (Languedoc): +3.12%
- Oberschleißheim (suburb of Munich): +3.11%
- Crépy-en-Valois (exurb of Paris): +3.09%
- Waidmannslust (urban district of Berlin): +3.08%
- Betton (exurb of Rennes): +3.07%
- Plaisance-du-Touch (suburb of Toulouse): +3.07%
- Bagnolet (suburb of Paris): +3.05%
- Choisy-le-Roi (suburb of Paris): +3.04%
- Gallus (urban district of Frankfurt): +3.02%
- Aubing-Lochhausen-Langwied (urban district of Munich): +3.01%
- Marck (suburb of Calais): +3.01%
- Lingolsheim (suburb of Strasbourg): +3.00%
- Saint-Cyr-l'École (suburb of Paris): +3.00%

Kalbach-Riedberg and Castanet-Tolosan are two very interesting cases. Aside from Porto-Vecchio in Corsica, they had the highest growth of all municipalities/urban districts with more than 10,000 inh. in 2012. They both have roughly the same size (Kalbach-Riedberg covers 6.9 km² whereas Castanet-Tolosan covers 8.2 km²), same population (on Jan. 1, 2013, Kalbach-Riedberg had 12,019 inh. while Castanet-Tolosan had 12,388 inh.), and roughly the same distance from the center of their metropolises (Kalbach-Riedberg is 8.5 km from the center of Frankfurt as the crow flies, whereas Castanet-Tolosan is 10.3 km from the center of Toulouse), but of course the big difference is Kalbach-Riedberg is part of the municipality of Frankfurt, whereas Castanet-Tolosan is still a totally independent municipality separate from Toulouse due to the completely stupid and outdated municipality structure of France.

To make things worse, Castanet-Tolosan is not even part of the Toulouse Metropolis, but it is part of a separate intercommunality (Gemeindeverband) made up of municipalities in the south-eastern suburbs of Toulouse which have stubbornly refused to join the Toulouse Metropolis, and as such its urban development is absolutely not coordinated with that of Toulouse (but of course dependent on it in every respect; for example these municipalities are begging the Toulouse Metropolis to extend line B of the Toulouse subway to serve their communities, even though they refused to join the Toulouse Metropolis in the first place).

I have indicated the respective locations of Castanet-Tolosan and Kalbach-Riedberg on these comparative maps of Toulouse and Frankfurt which are at the same scale. Castanet-Tolosan lies outside of the blue area because there are denser suburbs around Toulouse proper that form an area the same size as the municipality of Frankfurt.

Incidentally, we can note that Frankfurt grows much more than its metro area. In 2012 the 248 km² of the municipality of Frankfurt grew by +1.66%, whereas the Rhine-Main metro area grew by only +0.75%. In Toulouse it's the opposite. The 248 km² at the center of the metro area grew by +1.41%, which is less than the entire metro area of Toulouse (+1.63% in 2012). So not only the municipality of Toulouse controls less of its suburban developments than the municipality of Frankfurt (because smaller administrative territory), but its suburban development also happens further away than in Frankfurt, where it is more centrally located. Really two very different types of urban/metropolitan developments at the moment.

On the ground, this is how Kalbach-Riedberg and Castanet-Tolosan look like.

(all views are from March 2010)

"Start in your new 'home sweet home'!"

(here we can compare several years)

Typical new villas on the hills:

Down in the plain in July 2008:

The same spot 4 years later in July 2012!

July 2008:

Same spot in July 2012:

Ok, this post is long enough, so I'll post the French and German municipalitie/urban districts with the worst population decreases in 2012 another day.
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Last edited by New Brisavoine; Jan 26, 2016 at 7:45 PM.
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