Press release no. 33/21 of August 31, 2021

2021 Bundestag Election: highest ever number of candidates

WIESBADEN – A total of 6,211 candidates, including 2,024 women (33 %), are standing in the Bundestag election on 26 September 2021. This was announced today by Federal Returning Officer Georg Thiel at a press conference in Berlin. It is the highest ever number of candidates running in a Bundestag election. There were 4,827 candidates in the last election of September 2017.

The Federal Returning Officer called on all citizens to participate in the Bundestag election on 26 September 2021. He underlined the special challenges faced by everyone involved in the preparation and conduct of this election. This relates on the one hand to the corona pandemic and the expected high proportion of postal voters. On the other hand, there is the risk of cyber attacks and disinformation campaigns. A number of practical solutions have been developed together with the Land returning officers and the municipalities to enable the people in the flood areas to participate in the Bundestag election. "All those involved are well prepared to meet these challenges and we will make every effort to ensure simple and secure participation for all people entitled to vote", said Georg Thiel at the Federal Press Conference. He also thanked the approximately 650,000 volunteer poll workers who will ensure the proper conduct of this year's election.

In the forthcoming Bundestag election, 1,284 candidates are running only in a constituency, and 2,851 candidates are Land list candidates only. 2,076 people are standing for election both in a constituency and on a Land list. There are 4,927 candidates (2017: 3,943) on the 338 Land lists of the 40 parties (2017: 272 Land lists of 34 parties) which have been admitted to the 2021 Bundestag Election with their Land lists in the Länder. 1,752, or 36 %, of these candidates are women (2017: 1,249 or 32 %).

Constituency candidates of the CDU/CSU, SPD, GRÜNE and FDP are standing for election in all 299 constituencies. 296 constituency nominations of DIE LINKE have been admitted and 293 constituency nominations of the AfD. The total number of candidates for direct election nominated at the constituency level, taking account of all parties, voters' associations and individual candidates, amounts to 3,360 (2017: 2,558). 960, or 29 %, of these candidates are women (2017: 640 or 25 %). The average number of candidates per constituency is 11.

The following chart shows the number of party candidates and the percentage share of female candidates:

Party Total Percentage share of women (absolute)
2021 2017 2021 2017
CDU 492 477 40 % (199) 36 % (172)
SPD 442 479 43 % (192) 41 % (195)
AfD 335 388 13 % (45) 12 % (47)
FDP 379 367 24 % (91) 22 % (79)
DIE LINKE 350 355 38 % (133) 36 % (127)
GRÜNE 445 360 54 % (240) 47 % (169)
CSU 115 90 40 % (46) 22 % (20)
Others 3,653 2,311 30 % (1,078) 26 % (591)

The youngest candidate for the 2021 Bundestag Election is 18 years old and runs as a Land list candidate for the GRÜNE in Nordrhein-Westfalen. The oldest candidate is 91 years and is a Land list candidate for the ÖDP in Sachsen. The average age of the 6,211 candidates for the 2021 Bundestag Election is 45.5 years.

More detailed information on the parties and associations admitted and on the candidates standing for election is provided in the publication “Die Wahlbewerberinnen und Wahlbewerber für die Wahl zum 20. Deutschen Bundestag 2021”. Among other things, it lists the names of all candidates and contains summary tables with information on the proportion of women, the age of the candidates and the occupational groups to which they belong.

Information on the candidates running for election is also available on the website of the Federal Returning Officer at:


Press office
tel: +49 611 75-3444