Facts Köthen (Anhalt)

Selected Key Data



Already fort he last years of the GDR a population decline was to be expected in Köthen: in 1985 the city had 35,210 citizens, ten years later – and in spite of municipal incorporations – there were 2,000 people less living there. Köthen’s population was at its highest in 1950: 40,562.

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


When looking at the city centre of Köthen it is hard to imagine that large parts of the inner city had fallen into disrepair by the late 1980s and that many of the buildings were destined to be torn down. The first houses were demolished in Kleine Wallstraße and Ritterstraße; finally in 14 1991 parts of the inner city were declared a redevelopment area. At the same time, money was still poured into the renovation of prefabricated buildings at the city’s periphery, even though a population decline was to be expected.

Housing Situation in Köthen (2/2010):
Housing Stock: 16,000
Surplus Housing: 2,000 / 12,5 Percent 
Housing Demolitian since 2001/02: 900



After thousands of jobs for skilled workers were lost when the former stronghold of crane and plant manufacturing’s factories were closed down, mainly young families left the city. 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.

Only a few long-established companies remained in Köthen, albeit with drastically reduced numbers of employees, among them Kranbau Köthen GmbH, VKK Standardkessel Köthen GmbH and LACUFA GmbH (Lacke und Farben Köthen). Apart from the municipal authorities, the dominant employers are the Anhalt University of Applied Sciences and the hospital. The missing connection to the motorway has proved to be a disadvantage; as a result, only small industries and service companies set up businesses in the area.

In the meantime, Köthen relies on developing the potentials that arise from its prolific history. Johann Sebastian Bach and homeopathy are the guidelines for the development of the city’s culture, tourism and economy.

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 specifications: Ministry of Regional Development and Transport Saxony-Anhalt; Raumbeobachtungssystem Sachsen-Anhalt (RABE); Statistisches Landesamt Sachsen-Anhalt; Köthen Urban Development Concept, 2006; GDR statistics, 1989; www.iba-monitor; Status: 11/2009

Info: Köthen (Anhalt)

(Municipal Area of 2010)
1989: 36.934
2009: 28.668
2025: 23.030 (Future Prospect)

Municipal Area: 78,42 qkm

IBA-Website of Köthen