The regional district of Ilm stretches south of the Thuringian capital Erfurt down to the
Kammweg in the Thuringian forest, home to the legendary Rennsteig trail. It offers an
exceptional quality of life for both young and old, with a combination of tradition and
modern, its economic strength and charming natural surroundings. The district is
characterised by its central location and well developed economic, scientific and
cultural structures. We have to exploit the advantages our district has to offer, in order
to counteract the inexorable process of demographic change, which is one of the
greatest challenges of our time.
Since 1990, the population of Thuringia has shrunk by 430000 people, down to current
levels of around 2.3 million and this trend is likely to continue further. By 2030 the
population will decrease to approximately 1.8 million people. The main cause of this
change is a decline in the number of young people, due to low birth rates and
migration to economic centres. The effect of this process across Thuringia is varied.
Whilst, larger towns and cities such as Erfurt, Weimar and Jena are prospering, rural
areas, including our own Ilm district, have been more significantly affected by these
We can thank the excellent work and collaboration between business, trade unions and
politics for the fact that Ilm district has recorded a gain in net migration since 2010.
We have to strive to retain this trend and continue to make our region more attractive
to the younger generations, as a place to live and work. Yet we also need the
commitment of our older citizens, with respect to charities and voluntary work. Without
their dedication many of the clubs and associations, so socially important to a region
like Ilm district, would no longer exist.
We are well prepared for these forthcoming evolutionary changes. As one of the most
dynamic regions in the east of Germany, Ilm district displays excellent development
potential, through it's cooperative work with the Ilmenau University of Technology,
research institutions and business. It offers an abundance of natural, cultural and
leisure opportunities, as well as comprehensive child care and education options, which
makes it a rare and interesting environment to live in, whilst also promoting the
integration of work and family life. I think our district has every reason to be proud of
the progress it has made so far and I'm sure we will be able to further develop this
advantage, with the help of pro-business economic policies.
Dr. Benno Kaufhold
Head of the Ilm District Council
Economic Strength
and Quality of Life
Dr. Benno Kaufhold
Head of the Ilm District Council
Foto: Manuel Löffelholz