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Where are the best places for families and senior citizens to live?

ZDF-Germany-Study 2019

Where are the best places for families and senior citizens to live?

On behalf of the ZDF we examined the external living conditions for families and senior citizens in the 401 districts and cities of Germany. On the basis of statistical data from various fields of life, the two latest editions of the ZDF-Germany-Study provide orientation on where the framework conditions for families and older people are particularly good and in which regions there is room for improvement.

Starting a family and increasing age cause preferences to shift – the large ZDF-Germany-Study 2019 takes these circumstances into account. Where is childcare best? Where are older people offered the best range of activities? These and many further criteria were statistically examined by Prognos experts on behalf of ZDF and collated in a regional ranking.

Key results for families

For the evaluation of the regional living conditions for families we used indicators from the money & living, education & social affairs, health & safety, as well as leisure & culture sectors.

  • Almost everywhere in Germany there are districts and cities that offer the conditions for families to live well. Among the top 20 there are regions from almost all directions – the housing conditions for families are good in: Southern Germany, e.g., in Baden-Baden and Starnberg; Central Germany, e.g., in Suhl; the west, e.g., in Bonn; and the east, e.g., in Potsdam. Good scores were also reached by some northern areas, in particular Oldenburg, Hamburg and the district of Harburg.
  • No districts come top for all criteria, but neither are there any districts that are far behind across the board.
  • Areas surrounding large cities and urban areas do particularly well. These include: the Hochtaunuskreis and Main-Taunus-Kreis (Rhein-Main-Gebiet / Frankfurt a. M.), the vicinity of Munich (Starnberg, Munich district) or Potsdam (near Berlin).
  • Many urban centres in more rural areas also perform well. The reasons: good infrastructure and short transport distances, e.g., Suhl and Jena.
  • In very rural areas conditions for families could be improved – above all where they lack nearby centres, this includes places like Brandenburg (e.g. Ostprignitz-Ruppin, Landkreise Uckermark or Prignitz) and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (e.g. Ludwigslust-Parchim).

Key results for seniors

Regional living conditions for seniors are measured by indicators in the fields of health & care, living & leisure, security & infrastructure, as well as economy & demography.

  • Good living conditions for senior citizens can be found in many small to middle-sized cities – in particular, in East German centres.
  • Catchment areas for large cities come out above average particularly in comparison to their respective cities. The areas surrounding major cities offer varied, easily accessible recreational possibilities – without the burden of higher living costs.
  • Regions in Baden-Württemberg and Saxony achieve above-average results almost consistently, while districts in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, the Eifel, and the Bavarian countryside tend to score lower. Above all, in terms of (health) infrastructure these regions have measurable weaknesses.
  • Living conditions are generally good everywhere, the possibilities and activities varied. There are also some quite surprising results. For example, Mülheim an der Ruhr does better in the overall ranking than the city of Munich.

Broadcast dates for the large ZDF-Germany-Study 2019

The results will be presented in two “ZDFzeit” documentaries supported by interesting background knowledge:

Tuesday, 3rd December 2019, 20:15, ZDF: “ZDFzeit: Wo leben Senioren am besten? Die große Deutschland-Studie“

Tuesday, 3rd December 2019, 20:15, ZDF: „ZDFzeit: Wo leben Familien am besten? Die große Deutschland-Studie“

Background information to download

In the background document on the large ZDF Germany study 2019 we have prepared all the most important information in a PDF ready for you to download:

  • About the ZDF Study
  • Methods and indicators
  • Results
  • Interview with those who conducted the study