Cologne is home to 1,089,984 people (as of November 2019). 426,646 people in Cologne have a migrant background, including 212,191 foreigners from 184 nations. As of 31 December 2017, 92,924 people with severe disabilities were registered in Cologne. According to a study commissioned by the City of Cologne in 2019, 10.6% of people in Cologne identify as belonging to the LGBTIQ community. There are no official statistics on the spoken languages in Cologne. Officially, 18 languages are used in the language of origin teaching program, including Albanian, Arabic, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Farsi, Greek, Italian, Croatian, Kurdish, Kurmanji, Kurdish Sorani, Polish, Portuguese, Romany, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Turkish and Twi.
There are 130 different religious communities in Cologne. 26 of these are represented in the Council of Religions, which is a voluntary association that works to promote inter-religious dialogue and peaceful, equitable coexistence among all Cologne residents and rejects all forms of discrimination, terror and violence.
The City of Cologne has various concepts that have been adopted by the Council which are decisive for municipal action. These include the diversity concept Köln l(i)ebt Vielfalt [transl.: Cologne Li/oves Diversity], the action plan for Cologne's disability policy Köln überwindet Barrieren – eine Stadt für alle [transl.: Cologne Overcomes Barriers - a City for Everyone], the concept Stärkung der Integrativen Stadtgesellschaft [transl.: Strengthening the Inclusive Urban Community], and the Office for Gender Equality's equality policy. The City of Cologne is currently developing an action plan for the acceptance of sexual and gender diversity.
For the City of Cologne, the fight against racism and discrimination is an absolute priority which is being addressed with great seriousness. The city departments involved in combat-ing racism and discrimination are primarily part of the Office for Integration and Diversity in the Mayor's Department. The Office for the Prevention and Reduction of Intolerance, Dis-crimination and Exclusion (IDA) develops prevention measures for racism and discrimination. The aim is to ensure the reduction and prevention of intolerance, discrimination and exclusion on the basis of background, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, disability, religion, gender and age and, in turn, promoting the breaking down of structural and access barriers for the aforementioned target groups vis-à-vis municipal and other institutions. To this effect, IDA is working on the conceptual development of information and training offers for municipal ad-ministration employees as well as external groups. Furthermore, preventive measures in the fight against racism and discrimination are being developed. Since December 2018, the Office for Integration and Diversity has been bundling the cross-sectional tasks regarding the topics of integration, diversity, religion and disability policy as well as sexual orientation, gen-der identity and anti-discrimination.
The Office for Integration and Diversity is also in charge of working with Cologne's anti-dis-crimination offices as well as the allocation and supervision of the total annual project funds for anti-racism training available as part of the municipal integration budget. The aim is to support ongoing projects that promote an intercultural approach and have a social-spatial reference.
In addition, the Office for Integration and Diversity includes f. ex. the Office of the Ombudsperson for People with Disabilities, who acts on behalf of a complainant in the administration, supports individuals in their complaints and serves as a point of contact for the concerns of people with disabilities; the Office for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex People, which offers clarification and advice for LGBTI people; the Central Office of the Council of Religions and the Central Office of the Integration Council.