30 years after reunification in 1990, the economy of the former GDR has largely caught up with that of its wealthy former neighbor to the West. The per capita GDP of the regions of the former GDR, including Berlin, thus represented 79.1% of the rest of the country, against 37% in the year of reunification, according to the report on German unity presented on Wednesday in the Council of ministers, almost 30 years after the reunification of October 3, 1990. “Some things have taken longer than expected. But in many areas, we can roughly say: unity accomplished”, greets the government commissioner for new regions, Marco Wanderwitz.

The gap was also largely bridged in terms of income, the average income in the east in 2018 was 88.3% that of the west, thanks in part, according to the report, to a large fabric of small and medium-sized enterprises, some of which specialize in “technologies of the future”. The gap remains notable with the west, however, due in particular to a much lower population density in the east, where “rural areas” remain numerous and urban areas underdeveloped.

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“Another important reason is the” small “size of the economy, that is to say the absence of head offices and large companies” likely to invest in research and development, notes the report. Another gap that has been partially filled: employment. The former GDR thus had an unemployment rate of over 15% in 2005, a rate now reduced to below 10%, or even, in certain areas, to around 6%, close to the 4% recorded in certain regions of the southern Germany. This development is partly due to the retirement of previous generations, tempers the report.

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In some areas, the east does better than the west. Women in the former GDR thus have better access to full-time work than to

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