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Urban Quality of Life

German cities do very well in the urban quality-of-life rankings. More and more people are now wanting to live in an urban environment.
Wellenreiten in der City: Die Eisbachwelle in München begeistert Surfer.
© Unsplash

Germany’s major cities always do well in quality of life rankings. More and more people in Germany want to live in urban areas. German cities are often noted for their good jobs, clean environments, low crime, a wide range of leisure and cultural activities, and good transport connections. In 2022 The Economist (a British magazine) published its ranking of the quality of life in major cities around the world. Three German cities came in the top 25: Frankfurt am Main placed 7th, Hamburg Hamburg In the city and state of Hamburg it is the port that is the power-house of the economy, though with Airbus, Otto Versand and Beiersdorf also located here, this is not immediately apparent. The tanker terminals, mean that almost all the major oil-refining companies are represented in the port. For… Read more › 16th and Düsseldorf 22nd. 

Germany has 80 cities with over 100,000 inhabitants, and there are 618 medium-sized towns and cities with populations between 20,000 and 99,999. Around three-quarters of the population as a whole live in towns and cities. However, experts disagree on whether the strong trend in favour of living in cities was at least temporarily slowed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Given the many new flexible ways of working such as working from home, it may become less of a priority for many people to live close to their workplace.

Preserving social diversity In the housing market

The demand for housing in urban areas has led to a sharp rise in rents for renters starting new contracts, as well as significant increases in property prices. When ranked by home ownership rates, Germany ranks second-to-last out of the OECD countries, with 47% of households owning their own homes. In contrast, the majority rent their homes. The average German spends 27% of their income on housing expenses. In response, the Federal Government Federal Government The Federal Government and cabinet is made up of the Federal Chancellor and the Federal Ministers. While the Chancellor holds the power to issue directives, the ministers have departmental powers, meaning that they independently run their respective ministries in the framework of those directives… Read more › has initiated a rent cap which is aimed at preserving social diversity in areas where the housing market is facing pressures. Thanks to the rent cap, federal states Federal states Germany is a federal state. Both the central federal government and the 16 federal states have independent areas of jurisdiction. The government in Berlin is responsible for foreign policy, European policy, defense, justice, employment, social affairs, tax and health. The federal states are… Read more › can specify areas where landlords may not increase rents by more than 10% more than a comparable home when renewing a tenancy. 

There are high levels of demand for housing in many regions. In order to meet this need, the Federal Government plans to build 400,000 new homes a year, including 100,000 publicly funded homes. The Fed­eral Government also plans to spend 14.5 billion euros on constructing social housing by 2026. A range of strategies is in place to promote home ownership, such as by offering loans in lieu of equity and interest rate reductions.