Why run away to faraway climes when the good life is close to home? That seems to be an idea most Germans live by. Twenty-six percent of them still live, or have returned to live, in the place they grew up in, whilst 30 percent end up just a few kilometres away. These were the results of a representative survey by YouGov commissioned by energy provider E.ON. The most loyal souls here are the people of Hamburg: almost half of the current inhabitants actually grew up there too. In Saxony-Anhalt (41%) and Thuringia (38%) people likewise choose to live in the place where they spent their childhood, with Berliners (34%) and the people of Bremen (33%) not far behind.
At the same time though, Berlin is also where people tend to move the most: only one percent have never moved house, and most Berliners have already moved between six and ten times. In contrast, the average German moves only two or three times.
When you consider the distance German people actually travel when moving house, then here too we see that long-distance moves are something of a rarity. For around 40 percent the new home is located less than 25 kilometres from their previous residence. Not even one third of those questioned have ever moved bigger distances of up to 200 kilometres, and only very few move a long way away: just seven percent have moved a distance of more than 1,000 kilometres at any time.
With around two thirds of all moves in Germany, family and friends are roped in to help. Only around one fifth of those questioned enlist the help of a removals company, and almost nobody opts for other paid helpers that can be found on online portals. Almost 15 percent of Germans take care of transportation themselves and rent a truck or a van. The organizational effort involved in moving is also the most stressful part for people after packing. Around a quarter of Germans cite acquiring a vehicle, finding helpers, changing address etc. as the most stressful elements. “At least where energy provision is concerned, we are able to offer a helping hand to those who want to move house,” says Uwe Kolks, Managing Director at E.ON Energie Deutschland. The company offers a simple service for customers and anyone wanting to switch to E.ON in their new home, and takes care of the cancellation and settlement of their old contract. “If you then rent a van for your moving day from our cooperation partner Sixt, then you benefit twice over: take our electricity contract with you or conclude a new one with us and we will cover 150 euros of your transport costs as a thank you,” says Kolks, explaining the current offering. You can get more information on moving with the electricity provider at www.eon.de/umzug.
Incidentally, there is quite an even balance regarding where Germans relocate to. According to the YouGov survey, there are equal proportions of around 30 percent who choose the big city, small-town life and the rural idyll. Less than one sixth choose medium-sized towns and cities of 50,000 to 100,000 inhabitants.