Demographic change

The concept of demographic change describes the change in the current population structure, above all, the ageing process of our society. The key features of the change can be summarised in the formula “fewer, older, more diverse”: 

- Fewer, because birth rates are falling and there are fewer younger people.
- Older, because the life expectancy and therefore the proportion of older people is increasing.
- More diverse, because migratory movement at home and abroad is increasing.

This development has an impact on every aspect of life. The demographic change, therefore, will profoundly change the world as we know it in the long-term.
No one knows the true nature of the change. Until now, there has never been a situation in the history of our country in which there have been more people over the age of 60 (21% of the population) than under the age of 20 (19%).

These trends are irreversible throughout Germany, even though Vechta (district in Germany) is a happy exception in one area: According to all predictions, the population in our region will continue to grow.

The challenges of demographic change can be interpreted as opportunities for design. For this reason, towns and communities together with Vechta have established the project “Zukunft Landkreis Vechta 2030” (Future of the Vechta District for 2030).

On the strategy for the "Zukunft Landkreis Vechta 2030"

On the strategy for the "Zukunft Landkreis Vechta 2030"
Vechta 2030

What is the situation in Vechta?

The situation in Vechta is as follows, with regard to the formula “fewer, older, more diverse”:

There are currently 138,624 people living in Vechta (as at 30 June 2014). By 2030 the population will rise by approximately 4.5%. The proportion of foreigners is currently 7.9%. The median age – a figure used to describe the ageing process of the population – increases from 38.6 years (2008) to 45.7 years (2030). The proportion of 18-year-olds falls from 21.6% (2008) to 17.4% (2030). On the other hand, the proportion of those over the age of 65 increases from 15.3% (2008) to 23.4% (2030). The proportion of those over the age of 80 also increases from 3.9% (2008) to 5.9% (2030).

Three key messages emerge from this data for Vechta:

- Every child is important; every skill is valued.
- A new perspective on age, ageing and the elderly is evolving. 
- The potential of current and future immigrants must be put to good use.

Zukunft 2030

What will Vechta look like in the year 2030?

The facts and figures for Vechta demonstrate that the challenges must be addressed at all political levels. A precondition for this is the development of a strategic overall concept. Vechta is the only district in Germany in which the county council and the councils of the towns and communities have implemented such a process.

Local politics generally thinks in terms of measures – but we need to think in terms of objectives: What do we want to achieve? Why do we want to implement this or that measure in particular? In which direction do we want to take the district of Vechta? The task of developing the demographic change has no simple solution; it will take a great deal of time for a strategic and goal-oriented procedure to take effect. The future is shaped by those who formulate their objectives and knowing in which direction they wish to go.

The "Landkreis Vechta 2030" strategy – or "Zukunft 2030" for short – has developed against this backdrop. At a workshop conducted in March 2012, as part of the 2030 objective, the areas of activity of family-friendliness /reconciliation of family and career, health, education and hospitality were drafted and then further developed in each of the areas of activity below.

Areas of activity
Family, education, infrastructure, health, hospitality, economy 


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