Of course, there is no precise answer to the question of how many houses there are in Germany, and an inventory by the land registry offices is hardly possible. But it can be estimated - as a Fermi problem.
Fermi problems - the art of good estimation
- Many everyday questions can only be answered with considerable effort and an enormous amount of time, or not at all. Nobody can say exactly how many ants there are on earth, how many sausages are grilled per barbecue season or - as in the present case - how many houses there are in Germany. Here estimates are necessary, about which the famous physicist Enrico Fermi in his so-called Has thought about Fermi problems or Fermi questions.
- The basic principle of his estimation method, which, by the way, is quite precise, are assumptions about the question asked, which are as close as possible to reality, but represent a certain simplification. For example, Fermi once estimated the number of piano tuners in an American city very precisely, although he had no further information other than the number of inhabitants.
How many houses are there? - An estimate for Germany
- First of all, the term "houses" needs to be examined more closely. Do you only want to count houses in which people live, or also buildings in which people only work? Should factories be included and possibly also smaller, but stone-built garden huts? And what about public buildings such as train stations, restaurants or even town halls? And "houses" could also be meant to include only those buildings in which the owner himself lives.
- The aim of this article is to answer the last question: How many houses are owner-occupied? The basic assumptions for the question are relatively easy, because you have to know how many people live in Germany (this, too, is only an estimate; exact numbers cannot be determined): According to the data from the Federal Statistical Office, the number of residents is around 82 million.
- If you believe the building societies, then only around 42% of all Germans are homeowners - Germany is also a land of tenants! Accordingly, around 34 million (42% of 82 million) live Person in their own house.
- However, you now have to consider that there is of course not just one person in every house, but in most cases several: couples, families. On average it will be between 2 and 3 people, because there are also houses that are inhabited by a single person. Accordingly, you can reduce the number of homes to around 15 million. estimate.
The number 42 seems to have a special meaning for some people. If you …
By the way: the estimated number is not bad; in fact, the number of houses is around 17 million. specified (Stat. Federal Office).
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