The effect of the demographic change on crime trends and the work of police, justice, detention and probation service

Project period

2009 – 2013

Project staff

Dr. Dirk Baier (Projektleitung)

Dr. Michael Hanslmaier

Katharina Stoll


The Bavarian Ministry of the Interior, for Building and Transport

Bavarian State Ministry of Justice

Ministry of Justice Brandenburg

Ministry of Interior Brandenburg

Ministry of Interior, Integration and of Sport of Lower Saxony

Ministry of Justice of Lower Saxony

Ministry of Justice and Equality of Saxony-Anhalt

Ministry of Interior of Saxony-Anhalt

Own funds

Cooperation partner

Prof. Dr. Stefanie Kemme, University of Hamburg

Prof. Dr. Thomas Görgen, German Police Academy

Project deskription

The project looks at the challenges that changes in population composition pose for institutions of social control. In Germany, the number of older people aged 64 and over will rise significantly by 2030 compared people of working age. The situation at Länder (state) level will differ, however. Whereas in the period 2005 to 2030, the old-age dependency ratio will only rise from 30 to 49 in Bavaria, it will double in Brandenburg, from 35 to 70. These huge changes in population structure will undoubtedly impact crime rates in Germany because, compared with elderly people, younger people commit far more crime.

The aim of the project is to develop forecasts and future scenarios concerning crime trends, conviction rates and prison populations – both at national level and especially at the level of the respective states. In particular, medium and long-term resource planning of government organisations is reliant on estimates regarding future capacity needs. The starting point for the analyses and the basis for the forecasts is the assessment of the retrograde trends in delinquency based on police crime statistics, prosecution statistics and prison statistics. But there are also other aspects that the analysis must take into account in addition to demographic change. While the activities of and the resources available to the police and the judiciary influence the incidence of registered crime, socio-structural and economic processes also play a role.

Project related publications