Facts Schönebeck (Elbe)

Selected Key Data



In the first ten years following political transformation, Schönebeck experienced a dramatic loss in population. Whereas around 45,000 people lived here in 1989, there were only just under 35,800 left in 2000. Many, above all young inhabitants of Schönebeck, migrated to other regions with a better economic outlook. This also led to significant erosion in the birth rates.

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


Every eighth apartment was vacant at the start of the new millennium. This development weakened the inner city, older districts in Schönebeck’s Old Town in particular, and also along the colonial roads. The state of the aged buildings and their old-fashioned fixtures made them unattractive to potential tenants. Vacancy and demolition ensued. Initially, new construction work closed the gaps, but continued population erosion, migration and company closures tore open new holes, meaning that vacant lots now characterise Schönebeck’s Old Town.

Conversely, the residential estates constructed in prefab industrial block style suffered less from empty housing units. However, an inverse trend set in as redevelopment of the old buildings progressed. There was citycentre migration from the prefab industrial apartments to the modernised old buildings. Due to perceived image losses in the housing estates, the lessors, such as the Schönebeck Wohnungsbaugesellschaft, 14 were later moved to demolish several hundred apartments as part of the urban redevelopment and to gentrify the surrounding areas.

Housing Situation in Schönebeck (2/2010):
Housing Stock: 19,400
Surplus Housing: 3,500 / 18 Percent
Housing Demolitian since 2001/02: 1.300



The Schönebeck diesel engine factory stands as an example of the negative economic development in the city. It went bankrupt after ist privatisation in the mid nineteen nineties. The tractor plant “VEB Kombinat Fortschritt Landmaschinen”, a company in Schönebeck with a rich tradition, also stopped production around 2000. A city dependent on industrial jobs was searching for new perspectives.

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 statistical details on this spread: Ministry of Regional Development and Transport Saxony-Anhalt; Raumbeobachtungssystem Sachsen-Anhalt (RABE); Statistisches Landesamt Sachsen-Anhalt; Urban Development Concept Schönebeck 2002; 1989 GDR statistics; www.iba-monitor.de; Stand 11/2009

Info: Schönebeck (Elbe)

(Municipal Area of 2010)
1989: 46.589
2009: 34.504
2025: 26.419 (Future Prospect)

Municipal Area: 85,77 qkm