Facts Magdeburg

Selected Key Data



The city, being close to the state of Lower Saxony, experienced a wave of emigration of its population who went looking for well paid work in the west. In the twenty years between 1989 and 2009 the city lost 57,000 inhabitants Population.

Municipal Boundaries


Because of increased suburbanisation from the early 1990s, the cities have lost a considerable proportion of their inhabitants and tax revenues to the surrounding communities. In order to dilute the impact of these losses, a gradual process of incorporation has increased the municipal areas in size, sometimes significantly so.

The coloured shape on the map symbolises the expansion of the city in 1990, the outer line shows the boarder of the municipal area of 2010.

Housing Situation


At the turn of the century over 21 per cent of homes, i.e. one in five, stood empty. Initially the large residential estates were not as severely affected as the districts of the city with the large and undeveloped housing stock, in particular areas near the centre of the city and the old town. Heading the list, with a vacancy rate of 44 per cent, was Buckau, the traditional residential area for workers in heavy engineering. Following the first successful redevelopment of old buildings in the mid-1990s, a wave of migration back to the city began. This resulted in high levels of vacancy in the large residential estates.

Housing Situation in Magdeburg (2/2010):
Housing Stock: 144,800
Surplus Housing: 26,200 / 18 Percent
Housing Demolitian since 2001/02: 7.000



The economic upheavals after 1990 hit the “City of Heavy Engineering” with its once 290,000 inhabitants hard. The large companies – SKET alone had over 12,00 employees – were in part privatised, but most were wound up and closed down. Whereas the workforce in Magdeburg numbered 167,000 in 1990, only 85,000 people still had a job in 1999. The rise in the number of unemployed from 20,000 in 1995 to 24,500 reflects only one side of the reduction in the number of jobs. The other side is that the city, being close to the state of Lower Saxony, experienced a wave of emigration of its population who went looking for well paid work in the west.

The diagram illustrates the radical economic structural reform: Large industrial combines were forced to close, and even where smaller companies came along and still produce today, the often significantly increased output figures require only a fraction of the workforce once needed.

Relocating and Commuting

Bildschirmfoto Pendler und Umzüge

In the 1990s, suburbanisation affected all the IBA cities. At the same time, people, especially those from the former industrial centres, began to move to West Germany. The populations of the large cities of Halle (Saale) and Magdeburg have increased minimally in recent times, mainly due to migration from Saxony-Anhalt. In the meantime, the improved transportation network allows for longer journeys to and from work and the number of commuters is climbing.

The interactive tool "Relocating and commuting" visualises this range of topics for all IBA cities.

Leibniz-Institut für Länderkunde (IfL), Leipzig 2010 Data: Günter Herfert, design/programming: Sebastian Specht

Sources for the statistics: Ministry of Regional Development and Transport Saxony-Anhalt; Raumbeobachtungssystem Sachsen-Anhalt (RABE); Statistisches Landesamt Sachsen-Anhalt; Urban Development Plan for Magdeburg 2001; GDR statistics from 1989; www.iba-monitor.de; Status 11/2009

Info: Magdeburg

(Municipal Area of 2010)
1989: 290.152
2009: 229.672
2025: 208.272 (Future Prospect)

Municipal Area: 200,97 qkm

IBA-Website of Magdeburg