ALTDOEBERN, GERMANY - JULY 15:  A merchant who travels to local weekly outdoor markets hauls away his goods after market day on July 15, 2015 in Altdoebern, Germany. Asked how business was doing he replied: "Not good. There are no people here." Altdoebern is located in a region where open-pit coal mines once abounded and that over the last two decades has experienced among the sharpest population drops in Germany. In 1964 the city counted 4,694 inhabitants, in 2012 only 2,605, which has led to the closing of schools and a severe shrinking of the economy. Before the communist government of East Germany collapsed in 1989 open-pit coal mines were a vital source of employment in the region and their decline has pulled the local economy down with them. 25 years since German reunification eastern Germany is struggling with a low birth rate, rural emigration and unemployment rates higher than in western Germany.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)