The population of Germany had, since ancient times, its main attraction area in the Middle Mountains. Here settled the major groups of those Germanic peoples who, coming from southern Scandinavia, managed to expand towards the West as far as the Rhine, where they clashed with the Celtic populations. Towards E they were always contained by the Slavs and Elba was for a long time the border between the two great ethnic domains. The enhancement of the Rhine as a settlement axis, although very ancient, took place completely under Roman rule. The great river became the main link between the Alpine (and Mediterranean) region and Central European lands; the transversal routes were grafted on the Rhine axis, such as those leading to the E as far as the Elbe, to the West to the Paris Basin. On this territorial structure arose those vital centers that still today correspond to large and important cities, such as Cologne, Mainz, Trier etc. Within this urban grid the Germanic populations lived in forest clearings, practicing agriculture and livestock, living in villages with patriarchal organization, formed either by groups of isolated hamlets (Weiler), or in those Haufendorfen, or crowded villages, already described by Tacitus. Many of these settlements of the ancient Germanic world have persisted; others arose above all in the Middle Ages, at the reforming and stimulating time of Charlemagne. But at the same time urbanism also had new impulses, especially in the centers enlivened by port and commercial activities promoted by the Hanseatic League (Hamburg, Bremen, Lübeck etc.). The formation of a unitary territorial organization came rather late, given the political divisions that have characterized German history.
Despite Berlin had become the capital of the Prussian state in 1701, it is only with the affirmation of the industrial economy, in the century. XIX, that the Germanic territory assumes the modern aspect (although then partially upset by the last world war and by the consequences of the division into two states of the country), centered on the high densities along the Rhine axis and in the basins of the Middle Mountains, which this contrasts with a relative rarefaction in the plains of Lower Saxony, Mecklenburg and Brandenburg, where the vast agglomeration of Berlin is located. Overall, Germany is a highly populated country; this is the consequence of the great demographic increase which in the mid-nineteenth century had led the Germans to exceed 36 million residents. (at the beginning of the century they were around 20 million). In the second half of the century the increase underwent new impulses, so much so that Germany soon became the country of Europe with the greatest demographic growth; at the end of the nineteenth century the population exceeded 55 million and in 1914 68 million. Due to the excessive demographic pressure, the country also experienced a large current of emigration, especially towards America: it is estimated that from the century onwards. XIX until 1913 as many as 6 million Germans left the country. Emigration slowed down during the First World War, which inflicted considerable losses on Germany, so much so that the population between 1914 and 1923 went from 68 to 62 million. Visit picktrue.com for Europe population.
At the same time there was a significant decrease in population growth, which in 1939 fell to 0.67%. Right in that year the census recorded a population of 69 million residents. The Second World War again upset the demographic structure of the country, both due to the decreased birth rate, which reached exceptionally low limits in 1946, and due to the serious losses of civilians and soldiers. The dead were a total of 5 million, a figure that appears conspicuously in the pyramid of age groups (where the male classes are lacking between 1910 and 1924). These serious losses were partly replaced by the great immigration of the Germans who, with the Hitlerian defeat, were forced to abandon the territories beyond the Oder-Neisse (the so-called national Germans, Reichsdeutsche) and those who left the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania (the so-called ethnic Germans, Volksdeutsche), who emigrated to those countries sometimes still in the Middle Ages, following the great Germanic expansion. Altogether 12 million people returned and this immigration can be considered as one of the largest movements in recent European history. Most of the refugees reached the Federal Republic of Germany (about 9 million). This later also became the destination of numerous refugees from the German Democratic Republic, subject to the communist regime: between 1950 and 1961 the flow annually brought from one state to another approx. 260,000 people, for a total of 3 million (2.2 million between 1955 and 1961, of which 275,000 from East to West Germany).
In 1961 the Berlin Wall was erected and the stiffening of the German Democratic Republic put an end to the great flight, although the migration continued with ca. 20,000 starters a year, mainly represented by the elderly. As a consequence of these facts the demographic situation went somewhat diversifying in the two Germanies, since the Eastern one had recorded, after 1945, continuous losses, while in the Western one there had been strong increases due to the large inflow of Germans from the East and immigrants from other European countries (including Italy) and non-European countries (la Turkey, in particular).