What is the working population

Working population

To the circle ofWorking population include all employable people living in an economy who are employed or looking for a job. This also includes people in training and further education as well as students. In economic terms, everyone is considered to be able to workPeople between the ages of 15 and 64


The number of the working population is the basis for calculating the so-calledActivity rate. It indicates the percentage of all employees in an economy based on its total population. It can be assumed that a higher employment rate leads to higher average prosperity in the economy.

Age of the working population

A large number of people live in a country or an economy. Not all of them can have a job due to their age, so children and old people are fundamentally excluded from the labor market. The population due to their Age could theoretically work, is characterized as the working population. There are different national and international definitions:

  • International: Basically, the international definition assumes that people between 15 and 75 can be classified as employable.
  • National: In Germany, most people are considered to be able to work who are between 15 and 64 years old.

Working population and employment rate

The so-called employment rate can be determined from the number of the working population. It is calculated as:

Employment rate = employed / economically active population

In Germany, not all persons between the ages of 15 and 64 are used for the determination. Especially the 15 to 20 year olds often do not have a regular job because they are still going to school or are studying. To that extent, they would reduce the employment rate, but thereby distort the actual interpretation.

Basically, a high employment rate forspeaks a lot of prosperity in an economy. The idea: If people have a regular job, they earn money and can, for example, afford rent, food or luxury goods. However, it is important to always see the employment rate in connection with other key figures. It's important, that general wage level consider. Also the Distribution of Income decides whether the entire workforce can really participate in the prosperity.

Working Population - Definition & Explanation - Summary

  • The working population includes all people who could theoretically have a job based on their age
  • In Germany this includes all 15 to 64 year olds
  • The unemployment rate can be determined from the labor force