These latest figures, revealed by daily newspaper the Süddeutsche Zeitung, have caused a ripple of surprise.
The 300-page Migration Report for 2011, which the federal cabinet signed off on this week, is a veritable encyclopedia for immigration researchers and politicians.
The 2010 report showed 2.48 million residents with Turkish roots, but the 2011 report said there were 2.95 million. The paper said that was odd, as an immigration of a half-million people would surely have been noticed.
Additionally, the number of people living in Germany with a Turkish passport actually dropped between 2010 and 2011 by nearly 22,000.
A change in the way people are counted, according to the Berlin-based “Media Service for Integration” caused the final figures to come out differently.
The nearly half-million increase has to do with 471,000 children, born in Germany to families with a Turkish background and are German since birth.
Previously children with a Turkish background did not show up in the data if their parents had Turkish roots. These children were categorised as “people with an immigration background without any information regarding their land of origin.”
That has now changed. Now statisticians are noting the land of origin – however only if both parents are from the same country. Separating out the land of origin for children born to Chinese-Russian or Polish-Romanian couples is too complicated.
These new numbers show that roughly half of Turkish-German children are born in Germany.
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The paper said this should have a positive effect on these children's education because kids with a German passport and a Turkisih background are on average more successful in school that the previous generation.