While the SPD and FDP are losing members, the Greens are the only governing party to continue to grow: last year the party grew slightly by around 0.57 percent to 126,451 members. The number has increased for the seventh year in a row, according to party statistics published in Berlin.
Compared to 2021, which was dominated by the federal election campaign, the increase was meager: At that time, the Greens had gained around 17 percent in membership.
According to the information, 9,264 people joined the party last year. At the same time, the Greens recorded 8,517 departures due to the resignation or death of members.
The growth was above average, especially among younger people and women, it said. According to party statistics, the average age of the new members this time was 37.9 years and thus even lower than in the previous year (40.5 years). The proportion of women increased slightly and is now 42.4 percent.
Upward trend stopped at the FDP
In the case of the FDP, however, the upward trend in membership numbers over the past few years has come to a halt. According to the party, there were around 76,100 members at the turn of the year 2022/23. At the end of 2021 there were around 77,000. In previous years there had been a steady increase from 64,000 (2018) to 65,500 (2019) and 66,000 (2020). A spokeswoman said the number of members of the FDP in 2022 had proven to be stable, "which makes us very happy".
The chancellor party SPD also lost members despite winning last year's federal elections, as the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" reported in mid-January. According to a spokeswoman, the party had 393,727 members at the turn of the year - a year earlier there were 404,305. The SPD remains the party with the most members in Germany.
According to the information, more than 22,000 members gave up their party membership or died in the course of the year. On the other hand, there were 12,266 entries - most of them in September and October, directly before and after the victory in the federal elections. About a third of the SPD members are women, the average age is 61 years.
CDU loses more than 12,000 members in one year
The CDU shrank to 371,986 members last year. As of December 31, the party had lost 12,218 members in one year, as a party spokesman explained at the end of January when asked by "Münchner Merkur".
According to the CDU, more than half of the members are older than 60 (53 percent), the paper writes. Every sixth member is even older than 80 years (16.6 percent) and only 5.3 percent younger than 30. Between 16 and 20 years it is 0.6 percent. According to the party, the current average age of CDU members is 61.1 years.
According to the "Münchner Merkur", the CDU sister party CSU is also losing members. On December 31, 2022, the Christsozialen had “around 132,000 full, trial and online members,” as a party spokesman explained. On December 31, 2021, the number of CSU members was around 136,000.
The number of members in the AfD fell by around 700. According to a party spokesman, it was 29,180 at the beginning of this year, after 29,882 at the beginning of 2022.
The left is also losing members
The left, for its part, lost a good 6,400 members within a year: As of December 31, 2022, the party had 54,214 members nationwide on its website. On the reporting date a year earlier, there were still 60,681. The background to the losses are the electoral defeats and the dispute over direction between the current board and the former parliamentary group leader Sahra Wagenknecht.
The SSW, the South Schleswig voters' association of the Danish and Frisian minority, which is represented by one member of the Bundestag, also recorded a loss. At the end of last year, the SSW had 3,125 members, down from 3,153 at the end of 2021, according to a party spokesman. In 2017, the South Schleswig Voters' Association still had 3,421 members. The main reason for the decline is that more older members are dying than new ones are joining. More than half of the SSW members are older than 60 years. In the past year, the SSW gained 118 new members and lost 146 through deaths or resignations.