More than a quarter of people in Germany have an 'immigration background'

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More than a quarter of people in Germany have an 'immigration background'
People relax in Viktoriapark, in Berlin's Kreuzberg district. The neighbourhood, the city, and country as a whole, is becoming more international. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Annette Riedl

Germany's federal statistics office has found that 27.5 percent of the country’s population has a post-1950 immigration history.


According to a micro-census that the office - or Destatis agency - released Thursday, around 14.2 million people who’ve immigrated to Germany sometime since 1950 were living in Germany at the end of 2021.

That by itself totals 17.3 percent of the population. But once their German-born children are counted, the share of the population with an immigration background goes up even higher.

The agency also noted that another 4.7 million people – or about 5.7 percent of Germany’s population – are directly descended from these recent immigrants on both sides. That means they were born in Germany, but both their parents had immigrated to the country since 1950. Taken together, these immigrants and their German-born children make up 23 percent of Germany’s population—or almost a quarter.


Even that number though, doesn’t count children who might come from a mixed background – where only one of their parents immigrated to Germany since 1950 – so for example, children of a father who immigrated to Germany and a German woman whose family had been here for generations.

Destatis said that about 3.7 million people fitting this description currently live in Germany – or about 4.5 percent of the population. When these children of immigrants are also added into the mix, about 27.5 percent of the country’s population comes from a post-1950 immigration background.

With 17.3 percent of the population being recent immigrants, that puts Germany well ahead of the EU average of 10.6 percent, although well behind the top three countries of Malta, Cyprus, and Sweden – each with a share of over 20 percent.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: Who are the people taking German citizenship?


People or population – (die) Bevölkerung

Immigration – (die) Einwanderung

Migration history or migration background – (die) Migrationsgeschichte


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