Germany's population shrank for a third straight year in 2005 as the trend of fewer births than deaths continued. Immigration did not compensate for the deficit, Federal Statistics Office data showed.
There were about 82.45 million people living in Germany last year, a decline of around 50,000 from 2004's total of 82.5 million, the Office said.
Sandra Petcov, an economist at Lehman Brothers in London, said Germany's shrinking population meant it was never going to see rates of overall economic expansion comparable to countries with a growing population.
"Obviously the growth trend in Germany is going to be lower because of this," Petcov said.
The number of deaths rose to the 820,000-830,000 range from 818,000 in 2004, and births slipped to the 680,000-690,000 range from 706,000 in 2004.
That left a deficit of up to 140,000. The deficit was 112,000 in 2004.
Some 90,000 to 100,000 more people moved to Germany from abroad than left the country, a slightly bigger surplus than 2004's 83,000.
The last time births outweighed deaths in Germany was in 1971 when there were 1.013 million births and 966,000 deaths.