German Culture

Core Concepts

  • Fairness
  • Sincerity
  • Pragmatism
  • Efficiency
  • Compassion
  • Privacy
  • Precision
  • Organisation

German society has remained stoic through the massive changes of the last century, adapting to the evolving social climate of the country as needed. While the country may never be completely free of the spectre of World War II, it has transformed itself into a peaceful, forward thinking and productive member of the global community of nations. One can attribute much of Germany’s recent success to its mastery of organisation and critical thinking.

Germans live in a culture that is more task-orientated than the majority of Western countries. This makes them extremely good organisers and time managers. They generally like to know where they will be at what time of day and precisely how tasks will be carried out. Things are rarely left to chance in Germany. Even those matters that proceed without a scheduled plan are likely to be directed by a relevant rule, regulation or social norm. Ultimately, the German culture strives for efficiency in achieving consistent, high-quality results. As such, the people are generally very industrious. Once the best method of accomplishing a desired result has been found, a German is unlikely to deviate from it. However, this doesn’t mean they follow procedures blindly. Though they are renowned for relying on protocol and procedure, they also enjoy and are open to finding a better way of doing something.

Germans see themselves as critical thinkers, constantly asking questions and seeking new perspectives to guide their decision-making. They are flexible and will speak out to suggest a new idea if they believe there’s a better way. Hence, they are especially open-minded and pluralistic in their attitudes towards different approaches. This extends outside of the professional realm to their individual lifestyle choices, beliefs, and stances on societal conventions as well. Many Germans hold a strong egalitarian belief that people should remain objective when assessing other people’s responsibilities and choices.

A person’s position in the social hierarchy is generally not considered important in German society, because the large majority of people share the same benefits as the strong middle class. A person’s background and level of education will naturally affect their positioning and circumstances. However, the effects of class are fairly equalised by the country’s generous social welfare system. Of course, as in every society, there are those who don’t share in the spoils; a sizeable proportion of the people are unemployed (or underemployed). However, most Germans receive a comprehensive, classical education and are generally proud of their country’s cultural heritage in music, art and literature. People are also fond of their regional identities as traditional food, architecture and celebrations vary between states.

Germans generally maintain clear lines between the professional and private spheres of their lives. This allows them to easily compartmentalise leisure and work time and avoid confusing the two. A great value is placed on privacy to maintain these socio-relational boundaries. A German’s behaviour is often noticeably different depending on which sphere the individual they are interacting with belongs to. Strangers or those with whom they have a socially distant relationship fall into the ‘professional’ category and are treated with formality. However, the rigid exterior that people usually associate with Germans dissipates during interactions with close friends and family. From a German viewpoint, reserving warmth and friendly energy for those who are truly important to them gives their relationships greater sincerity and value. This can make a German friendship one of the most durable and loyal a person can have.
  • Population
    1.14% of World Population
  • Languages
    German (official)
  • Religions
    Protestant Christianity (34%)
    Catholic Christianity (34%)
    Islam (3.7%)
    Other (28.3%)
  • Ethnicities
    German (91.5%)
    Turkish (2.4%)
    Other (6.1%)
  • English Proficiency
    Well (61.83%)
  • Cultural Dimensions
    Power Distance 35
    Individualism 67
    Masculinity 66
    Uncertainty Avoidance 65
    Long Term Orientation 83
    Indulgence 40
    What's this?
  • Australians with German Ancestry
Germans in Australia
  • Population
    [2016 census]
  • Average Age
  • Gender
    Males (48.5%)
    Females (52.5%)
  • Religion
    Catholic Christianity (28.2%)
    Lutheran Christianity (24.3%)
    No Religion (23.2%)
    Other (18.8%)
  • Ancestry
    German (70.9%)
    Polish (6.9%)
    English (4.2%)
    Ukrainian (2.3%)
    Other (15.7%)
  • Languages
    English (52.7%)
    German (39.8%)
    Polish (1.6%)
    Other (4.9%)
  • English Proficiency
    Well (95.7%)
    Not Well (2.6%)
  • Diaspora
    New South Wales (28.8%)
    Victoria (25.9%)
    Queensland (19.5%)
    South Australia (10.6%)
  • Arrival to Australia
    Prior to 2001 (80.6%)
    2001-2006 (7.1%)
    2007-2011 (8.5%)
Where do we get our statistics?
Country DE Flag