Facts Bernburg (Saale)

Selected Key Data



In the 1990s migration of many young, well-educated inhabitants suburbanisation and low birth rates caused population decline. While the population of Bernburg (Saale) in 1989 stood at 47,761
, this had dropped to 47,761 by 2009. Population estimates for 2025 stand at 27,265.

The demographic shift necessitate a revision of the town’s plans for urban development: In 1996, approximately 17 per cent of the population was over 65 years old, and this proportion increased to almost 24 per cent by 2007. In the same period the number of children under 15 years of age dropped from just over 14 per cent to 10 per cent.

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


The emphasis is on the redevelopment of the town centre, while the residential areas on the peripheries are to be gradually rebuilt within reason, given the structural parameters and the limitations imposed by the housing industry. The objective is to stabilise the population levels in he town centre, to reduce the number of vacancies and to pursue the successful urban redevelopment projects.

Despite this significant demolition process, the amount of surplus housing will remain high for the time being.

Housing Situation in Bernburg (2/2010):

Housing Stock: 18.500
Surplus Housing: 2.400 / 13 Percent
Housing Demolitian since 2001/02: 550



In the 19th century, Bernburg developed into an important industrial town, due to its potash, rock salt and sodium industries. Today, the Solvay factory, an imposing ensemble of industrial buildings, still features heavily in the Saale riverside area, and the huge new industrial complexes of the esco – european salt company GmbH & Co. KG and Schwenk Zement KG are visible from afar. Natural resources such as rock salt, limestone and gravel sands along with good transport links motivated many businesses to settle in Bernburg in the industrial age. Some of these invested heavily in the area, even after 1990.

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 of statistics on this page: Ministry of Regional Development and Transport Saxony-Anhalt Raumbeobachtungssystem Sachsen-Anhalt (RABE); Statistisches Landesamt Sachsen-Anhalt; Bernburg Urban Development Concept 2002; GDR statistics, 1989; www.iba-monitor.de; Status 11/2009

Info: Bernburg (Saale)

(Municipal Area of  2010)
1989: 47.761
2009: 36.029
2025: 27.265 (Future Prospect)

Municipal Area: 113,45 qkm

IBA-Webseite of Bernburg