The figures released by destatis on Wednesday show that roughly 19.3 million of Germany’s population had a migrant background in 2017. The number was a record high.
Someone is considered to have a migrant background if they or at least one parent was born without German citizenship.
Petra Bendel, a political scientist at Erlangen University, said that migration from within the EU was again the major driver of growth in the foreign population after two years in which refugees made up the largest number of newcomers.
“Germany needs immigrants due to the demographic changes taking place,” she stated.
Of the 19.3 million people with a migrant background, 14 percent have roots in Turkey, followed by 11 percent in Poland and seven percent in Russia.
The microcensus also looked of the first time at the primary language spoken in German homes. It found that in 10 percent of the 24 million households in the country a language other than German was spoken.
The statistics were extrapolated from a micro-census which was undertaken in a select number of German households.
Bendel said that it was important that Germans learned to accept people with other ethnic backgrounds as more than just “passport Germans”.
She said that a new social movement called #MeTwo which aims to bring attention to the subject of racism in daily life, highlighted the fact that people in the country could have more than one identity.