Population of East and West Germany 1950-2016
One population grows, while the other declines
Between 1949 and 1961, an estimated 2.7 million people migrated from East to West Germany. East Germany had a communist government with a socialist economy and was a satellite state of the Soviet Union, whereas West Germany was a liberal democracy with a capitalist economy, and western autonomy increased over time. Because of this difference, West Germany was a much freer society with more economic opportunities. During the German partition, the population of the west grew, from 51 million in 1950 to 62.7 million in 1989, whereas the population of East Germany declined from 18.4 million to just 16.4 million during this time.