Zensus 2022 Census: three-quarters of all dwellings heated by oil or gas

Press release No. 45 of June 26, 2024

  • Increasing number of newer buildings equipped with heat pumps
  • Average living space has risen to 94 square metres
  • Net rent exclusive of heating expenses: 7.28 euros per square metre, on average, in Germany as a whole

WIESBADEN - According to the 2022 Census results now available, three-quarters (75%) of all dwellings in Germany are heated by gas (56%) or oil (19%) and another 15% by district heating. In the total housing stock, renewable energy sources have only played a minor role so far for heating residential buildings. The statistical offices of the Federation and the Länder also report that only 4% of all dwellings use wood or wood pellets for heating and 3% are heated using solar or geothermal energy, ambient heat or exhaust heat (generally with heat pumps). “In new buildings constructed from 2016 onwards, however, heat pumps are used in one dwelling in every four,” says Oliver Heidinger, President of the Land Statistical Office of Nordrhein-Westfalen (IT.NRW). In the Länder of Niedersachsen and Nordrhein-Westfalen, gas heating is overrepresented (72% and 69% of dwellings, respectively), while it is slightly underrepresented in Bayern (42%), Baden-Württemberg (46%) and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (47%). The energy source primarily used to heat buildings on Census Day (15 May 2022) was recorded for the first time in the census of buildings and housing component of the 2022 Census.

Oil seldom used for heating in eastern Germany, district heating common especially in the city states
With regard to the use of oil for heating, there are notable differences between the Länder. The number of dwellings equipped with oil heating systems is below average in the northern and eastern Länder (7 to 16%), while more than one dwelling in four is heated by oil in Hessen (25%), Rheinland-Pfalz (26%), Baden-Württemberg (28%), Bayern and Saarland (both 29%).

District heating is common particularly in the city states of Hamburg (35%) and Berlin (43%) and in the eastern Länder (22 to 34%). Schleswig-Holstein is the only western non-city Land with a high proportion of dwellings with district heating (21%). No information was collected on the type of energy source used to generate district heating.

More heat pumps and fewer oil heating systems in newer buildings
When the total housing stock is considered, gas is the main energy source used to heat dwellings. The majority of dwellings built before 2010 are heated using the fossil fuels oil and gas. The proportion of heat pumps only increases in buildings constructed from 2010 onwards. As newer dwellings only account for a small share of total dwellings, the share of dwellings heated by heat pumps is also small.

 In this context, it is worth taking a look at the differences by age of the building: In the case of newer buildings constructed in the 1990s, the share of dwellings heated by heat pumps is just under 1%. Since the turn of the millennium, that proportion has risen from 7% (construction years 2000 to 2009) to 24% (construction year 2016 and later) – and therefore one dwelling in four built since 2016 is heated by heat pumps. At the same time, the share of new dwellings equipped with oil heating systems has fallen substantially. Fewer than one in ten dwellings (9%) constructed in the period from 2000 to 2009 is heated by oil. Since 2010, oil heating systems have played little to no role in the construction of new buildings (under 2% of dwellings). Gas continues to be an important energy source in new buildings, although its share has fallen since 2010: 39% of dwellings constructed from 2016 onwards are heated by gas.

 2.5 million dwellings more than in 2011
On Census Day, there were 20.0 million buildings with residential space in Germany. The total number of dwellings was 43.11 million. The number of dwellings counted in the census of buildings and housing therefore essentially corresponds to the number of dwellings from the update of the housing stock as at 31 December 2021 (43.08 million dwellings). In all of Germany, the number of buildings with residential space has risen by 1.0 million since the previous census of 2011. This equates to an increase of 2.5 million dwellings compared with 2011.

Average living space has risen to 94 square metres
The average living floor space was 94.4 square metres per dwelling in 2022, up by 3.0 square metres from the previous census of 2011. The living space increased more in the eastern Länder of Sachsen, Sachsen-Anhalt and Thüringen (by approximately 5 square metres in each case) than in the western Länder of Germany (by roughly 3 square metres) or the city states of Hamburg and Berlin, where the increase amounted to less than 1 square metre.

On average, net rent exclusive of heating expenses in Germany is 7.28 euros
In the census of buildings and housing of 2022, all owners of rented dwellings indicated the net rent charged, exclusive of heating expenses. This enables a presentation of the rent level in existing tenancies for Germany as a whole. In contrast to surveys covering the rents agreed for new lets, for example, the census makes it possible to compare all rental arrangements in Germany, including those which have existed for a very long time. By contrast, rent indices generally only reflect the rental agreements of the last few years and are not available for all municipalities.

The net rent exclusive of heating expenses per square metre of living floor space serves as a suitable benchmark for comparing dwellings of different sizes. For Germany as a whole, the net rent exclusive of heating expenses is 7.28 euros for dwellings in residential buildings (excluding residential establishments). At 5.38 euros, dwellings are the least expensive, on average, in Sachsen-Anhalt, followed by Thüringen (5.65 euros) and Sachsen (5.72 euros). Net rents exclusive of heating expenses are the highest in Hamburg at 9.16 euros, followed by Bayern (8.74 euros), Hessen (8.21 euros) and Baden-Württemberg (8.13).

Net rents exclusive of heating expenses: München, Frankfurt/Main, Stuttgart and Heidelberg lead the table
Among the major cities, net rents are highest in München (12.89 euros), Frankfurt/Main (10.58 euros), Stuttgart (10.39 euros) and Heidelberg (10.02 euros), with each city seeing average net rents exclusive of heating expenses of more than 10 euros per square metre. With an average of 7.67 euros per square metre, Berlin is in the mid-range. Potsdam is the most expensive city in eastern Germany with net rents of 7.85 euros. The least expensive city in western Germany is Hagen (5.39 euros), while Chemnitz ranks as the least expensive city in Germany overall with net rents of 5.26 euros.

With net rents exclusive of heating expenses reaching 13.84 euros per square metre, Neubiberg in the district of München has the highest net rent of all municipalities with a population of 5,000 and over. Among the smaller municipalities (population of 5,000 and over), Borgentreich in the Ostwestfalen region has the lowest net rent exclusive of heating expenses, at 3.98 euros per square metre.

Average net rents per square metre provide only limited information on the proportion of dwellings with high rents and low rents in a town, city or municipality. A closer look at Germany’s major cities reveals that München has the largest share of dwellings with a net rent of 16 euros and more per square metre. In München, such rents are charged for one in four dwellings (25%), but only 8% of dwellings in München have a net rent of less than 6 euros per square metre. In Frankfurt/Main the proportion of dwellings with a high rent (16 euros and over per square metre) or low rent (under 6 euros) is 11% and 12% respectively.

Methodological notes:
The Census is designed to provide nationally comparable results for a specific reference date while keeping the burden on respondents to a minimum. The 2022 Census was carried out using a register-assisted procedure, as was the 2011 Census. This means that existing administrative data were used - particularly from the population registers. The real estate owners to be surveyed were determined, for instance, on the basis of real property tax data. Where no or not enough administrative data were available or the data quality was insufficient, surveys were conducted to obtain the required data. Roughly 12% of the population were polled in the household survey. Approximately 23 million residential property owners provided information on their property for the census of buildings and housing, as did some 8,000 housing companies. For the first time, questions were asked in relation to the rent charged, the heating energy used and the reasons for dwelling vacancy and the vacancy duration. Information on the conduct of the 2022 Census is also provided in the Factsheet zum Ablauf der Befragungen.

More information:
These and other results of the 2022 Census can now be accessed at www.zensus2022.de. In the press section, you can find current information for the press, press releases, contacts, press photos and further downloads relating to the 2022 Census.

In addition to the data just released, the website provides:

  • Regional tables for download (in EXCEL format, including machine-readable tables). The regional tables contain data for regional levels - Germany, Länder, administrative regions, urban districts/towns not attached to an administrative district/rural districts, associations of municipalities, and municipalities. They cover the following five subject areas:
    1. Population figures
    2. Demographics
    3. Census of buildings and housing
    4. Education and employment
    5. Households and families
  • The Census Atlas, an interactive map which comprises results for the population, buildings and dwellings on the basis of grid cells (10 km, 1 km and 100 m).
    For the first four maps of the Census Atlas, tables to accompany the grid cells are available for download (in CSV format; 10 km, 1 km and 100 m grid). The topics are:
    1. Population
    2. Type of heating
    3. Energy source used for heating
    4. Net rent exclusive of heating expenses per square metre
    More maps and data sets at grid cell level will follow.
  • Podcasts, videos and animations with background information (for example about the benefits of the data)

Results in other formats will be published on a gradual basis. More results will be provided in the Census database from mid-July 2024, first on the subject areas of population (demographics), and buildings and dwellings. Data on households and families, education and employment and the new publication of the results for 2011 based on the territorial boundaries of 2022 will follow in a phased approach.

From approximately September 2024 onwards, the portfolio will be supplemented by the Census Results Portal. This portal provides low-threshold access and mainly features visual presentations for the various subject areas of the census at municipality level. 

Links to all applications (Census Atlas, Census Database and Census Results Portal) will be provided at www.zensus2022.de once they are available. We will also notify all subscribers to our Census Newsletter about further additions to our website. You can register for the newsletter on our press page. At x.com/Zensus2022 we will also keep you abreast of our latest releases.

Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Union, will publish the results of the European Censuses. The data of the 2022 Census for Germany will be available on their website according to Eurostat’s definitions and can be compared across Europe. The population data were recalculated to 31 December 2021 to make them comparable at European level.

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For further information:
Press office, Tel: +49 611 75 3444 (service number)

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