Students on a bridge

"Young City Jena"

From student paradise to family paradise
Students on a bridge
Image: Christoph Worsch (University of Jena)

Anyone visiting Jena will inevitably notice one thing: the city is young and full of ideas. With an average age of 42.9 years (2021), people between 18 and 40 make up the largest group in the population.

In addition to the more than 20,000 students, who represent around 20 percent of all residents, it is above all young families who shape the cityscape and the vibrant atmosphere. And that is no coincidence. On the one hand, the landscape of various research institutions and companies offers an attractive job market with a wide range of career paths. The Zukunftsatlas (future atlas) 2022 of the economic research institute Prognos, for example, confirmed Jena's very good development prospects by listing the city in 24th place out of 400 districts and independent cities nationwide – higher than any other eastern German city.

On the other hand, in Thuringia's youngest city, work and family can be combined ideally. As early as 2014, the daily newspaper "Welt" called Jena "the most child-friendly place in the republic". This is because the proportion of fathers taking parental leave here is the highest in Germany. For children born in 2019, for example, it is 65.2 percent. These are just some reasons in favour of the "Young City Jena" – and here are a few more.

  • A child playing
    Image: La-Rel Easter/unsplash
    Flexible childcare With the family office "JUniFamilie", the Friedrich Schiller University, together with the Studierendenwerk Thüringen (Thuringia Student Union), maintains a central point of contact for all questions relating to the compatibility of studying or pursuing a PhD and family. Part of this service is flexible childcare for students and staff.
  • Children in the Collection of Classical Antiquities at the University of Jena
    Image: Christoph Worsch (University of Jena)
    Colourful education Jena's over 70 kindergartens and more than 30 schools offer an extremely diverse landscape of educational concepts and pedagogical profiles – from forest kindergartens to mathematical-scientific-technical high schools. Institutions such as the science centre Imaginata and the University for children also provide young people with age-appropriate access to science.
  • Tram with the logo "Bündnis für Familie" (Alliance for the Family)
    Image: Anne Günther (University of Jena)
    Getting involved together In a strong Jena "Bündnis für Familie" ("Alliance for Family"), around 70 institutions and companies are working together with the city to expand family-friendliness in Jena. At the heart of this is Friedrich Schiller University, with Prof. Dr Uwe Cantner as chairman of the board of trustees.
  • Signpost on the campus in Jena
    Image: Christoph Worsch (University of Jena)
    Connecting quickly Particularly short distances between the workplace, home and childcare mean little stress in everyday life. If you want to take a breather in nature, you can quickly reach either Paradiespark, the Botanical Garden or one of the green mountains around Jena.
  • Several people brainstorming in an office
    Image: Jan-Peter Kasper (University of Jena)
    Start up successfully Jena is a good place for young companies. Between 2012 and 2016, more high-tech companies were founded here than anywhere else in Germany. In 2022, an independent ranking by the internet platform "Top 50 Start-ups" listed Jena in the top ten of the most important start-up metropolises in Germany.
  • Concert during the Summer Festival of the University of Jena
    Image: Jens Meyer (University of Jena)
    Delving into the night Every age group can find itself in Jena's vibrant cultural scene – whether it's in Germany's oldest student club, the Rosenkeller, in the broad museum landscape or in the theatre house. The highlight is the annual "Kulturarena" festival, which lasts several weeks. The Kulturticket allows students to visit numerous events and institutions for two euros per semester.
  • Bee in a park in Jena
    Image: Jens Meyer (University of Jena)
    Living sustainability In 2021, Jena ranked among the top eight of 71 large cities in terms of sustainability in a city ranking by IW Consult. But the city is not resting on its laurels. The Friedrich Schiller University will adopt a sustainability strategy in 2023, which all members of the university were invited to contribute to in a participatory process. The city of Jena has adopted a climate action plan that is intended lead to climate neutrality by 2035.