• Germany's news in English

'Germany is a country of migration': Stats

DPA/The Local · 14 Nov 2014, 16:12

Published: 14 Nov 2014 16:12 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

More than 16 million people in Germany have roots outside of the country, Destatis said.

"The phrase 'Germany is a country of migration' is supported by these new numbers from the Federal Statistics Office," said Social Democrat (SPD) politician and government migration commissioner Aydan Özoguz. "Our country is as diverse as ever."

In the year 2013, the data showed that the migrant population in Germany grew by 3.8 percent, making it "the largest increase over the previous years" since the survey began in 2005, the Federal Statistics Office noted.

Destatis officer Joscha Dick said that the number crunchers counted anyone who had migrated to Germany since 1950 and their descendants and all foreigners. Of that group, 60 percent hold a German passport and around a third were born in Germany.

The survey also showed that there was a difference between the former East and West countries.

"Even 25 years after the fall of the wall, the former countries show very different numbers," said Dick.

Almost all, 97 percent, are found in the former West and in Berlin. In Thuringia, only four percent of the population have a migration background.

Professor Ludger Preis Foundation for Integration and Migration said that those low numbers could have dire consequences for states like Thuringia.

"Immigration has become the most important factor for compensating the population decline," he said.

Preis said that the idea that migrants will drain German social services is an old prejudice that Germans must get away from.

"Since the 1990s, there are more and more migrants from central and eastern Europe who area well educated," he said.

Story continues below…

Stephan Sievert from the Berlin Institute for Population and Development said that current debates around "migration poverty" are distorting the big picture of migrants coming to Germany.

"Or course there are challenges," he said. "But there is also a lot being thrown into the pot with a lot of potential... We need immigration."

Most migrants in Germany stem from Turkey (13 percent) followed by Poland, Russia, Kazakhstan and then Romania to round out the top five.

Ozuguz said that while the federal government has done plenty to integrate migrants, "There remains much to do. We have yet to succeed in enabling children to have educational success regardless of their social background - whether in school or vocational training."

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Germans think they're fit, but they're really couch potatoes
Photo: DPA.

There's been an increase in the number of Germans who define themselves as "fit", but their lifestyle choices don't quite match this self-perception.

Intensive farming 'endangers a third of German species'
Photo: DPA

There are 32,000 species of animal, plant and mushroom life native to Germany. Due to intensive farming methods, one in every three of these is endangered, a new report shows.

German hospital uses therapy to 'treat' paedophiles
A poster from the campaigne "Don't offend", which offers therapy to paedophiles. The sign reads "Do you love kids more than you'd prefer? There's help." Photo: DB Scholz & Friends / DPA.

A unique German initiative is offering therapy to paedophiles to control their urges, with the aim of getting them help before they offend.

Minister: 'no tolerance' for clowns after chainsaw attack
Photo: DPA

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière has called for a zero-tolerance approach to 'killer clowns' after a series of attacks culminating in two teenagers being chased by a clown wielding a chainsaw.

Baby who was auctioned on eBay taken away from father
Photo: DPA.

A German court ruled on Thursday that a man who put his one-month-old baby up for sale on the online auction platform eBay should only be allowed contact with the child under supervision.

Portugal's ruling party calls German minister 'pyromaniac'
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble. Photo: DPA.

The head of Portugal's ruling Socialists called German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble a "pyromaniac" on Thursday after he criticized Lisbon for reversing course on austerity.

These are Germany's top ten universities
The new library of Freiburg University. Photo: Jörgens.mi / Wikimedia Commons

These are the best universities in all of Germany - at least according to one ranking.

Introducing Swabians - 'the Scots of Germany'
Photo: DPA

These Southern Germans have quite a reputation in the rest of the country.

Woman sues dentist over job rejection for headscarf
Photo: DPA

A dentist in Stuttgart is being taken to court by a woman whom he rejected for a job as his assistant on the basis that she wears a Muslim headscarf.

Isis suspect charged with scouting Berlin attack sites
Photo: DPA

German federal prosecutors said Thursday they had brought charges against a 19-year-old Syrian man accused of having scouted targets in Berlin for a potential attack by the Isis terror group.

10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd