german census 2013

330,000 Homes in Germany Have No Shower or Toilet

June 04, 2013 / by / 0 Comment
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The most recent census reveals astonishing facts about the housing situation of German citizens. Many Germans dwell in badly cramped situations. Hundreds of thousands of homes have neither shower nor toilet. A look into home sweet home by Handelsblatt.

German census statisticians counted not only the population but also the number of buildings. Result: there are a total of 19 million residential homes and buildings in Germany representing exactly 41,298,747 apartments and living quarters – that’s half a million more than had been expected. This means that less than two of the 80.2 million people in Germany are living in every apartment, according to the latest census in the Federal Republic.

Ownership or Rental

Most Germans (52%) still rent their living quarters while 42.6% have a home of their own. While the share of owner-occupied homes located in regions such as area Lower Saxony, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland stands at least at 50%, it represents less than a quarter in most cities. In the ‘city of tenants’ (Berlin), the ownership rate is only 14.8%. But even in Saxony, less than 30% of people living in apartments own their real estate.


Almost every twentieth (4.5%) real estate property in Germany is empty. The differences between regions are significant. In Saxony, every tenth house is uninhabited, more than in any other state.

Vacation Homes

About 1% of all properties are vacation or holiday homes. Many of them – which is hardly surprising – are located on the coast and in the foothills of the Alps, mostly in Schleswig-Holstein (3.9%), followed by Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (2.5%), Lower Saxony (1.7%) and Bavaria (1.5%).

Size of Living Quarters

Statistics show that Germans like living the high life. The average home in Germany is over 90 square meters (968.75 square feet) in size and has 4.4 rooms. Nearly 40 percent of all homes have even five or more rooms.

Lack of Sanitary Facilities

Who needs a shower or a toilet? The census found 330,000 homes in Germany – a share of 0.8% – with neither the one nor the other. In 680,000 residential properties, either a toilet or bathroom is missing.

No Heat

For some Germans winters are synonymous with shivering – or dressing warmly. Nearly 200,000 homes in the country have no heating system.

Heating with Stoves

Furnaces, to which statisticians also include night storage heaters, are still widely used. Nearly 2.5 million homes are heated in this way.

Fewer New Buildings

What one may have already guessed is impressively confirmed by the statistics. In Germany, fewer and fewer new homes are built. The largest part of the home portfolio has been built in the years 1949 to 1978 – namely 43% – while a quarter was built before 1949.



Dom Einhorn is a proud Alsatian interested in a wide variety of subject matter, from literature and politics to science and sports. He speaks 5 languages fluently and calls both Wyoming and France "home." Dom is also a trivia fanatic and the editor of