18 percent of people living in Germany are immigrants

18 percent of people living in Germany are immigrants

According to 2022 statistics, just under one in five people who live in Germany today moved to the federal republic at some point in their lives. In the past decade, the number of people coming to Germany to flee conflict, look for a job or join their families has shot up.

15,3 million people living in Germany are immigrants

Data from the Federal Office of Statistics (Destatis) has revealed that in 2022, around 15,3 million people in Germany - or 18,4 percent of the 83.2 million population - moved to the country in their lifetimes.

When children in Germany who were born to two non-German parents living in the federal republic are included, this figure rises to 20,2 million. Compared to Destatis numbers of the previous year, there has been a 6,3 percent increase in the number of people who moved to Germany or were born there to foreign-born parents.

What these figures do not include is the number of people with a migrant background who were born to one non-German parent. This group adds another 3,9 million people, meaning that a quarter of people living in Germany have a migrant background. In Berlin, the melange is even greater, with 40 percent of people in the German city reporting that they have a migration background in their family.

German migration rates still not enough to quell labour shortages

Crises in Ukraine and Afghanistan mean that Germany has seen high average migration in recent years. Syria, Romania, Poland and Ukraine are the most common countries of origin for migrants living in Germany today. 

Over the last decade, just over 6 million people have migrated to Germany and the average migrant was younger than the average German citizen, at 29,9 years old compared to 47,0 years old. While the majority of immigrants came to Germany to flee conflict or seek asylum (27,9 percent), a large number also moved to Germany to look for work (24,2 percent).

This trend is good news for a country with a record-high worker shortage, with 630.000 jobs currently lying vacant in Germany. According to Federal Employment Agency director, Andrea Nahles, even if Germany were to “leverage all domestic potential, [filling the 630.000 vacant positions] will not be possible without further immigration, also for demographic reasons. We need both labourers and skilled workers.”

Thumb image credit: Tupungato /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan

Editor for Germany at IamExpat Media. Olivia first came to Germany in 2013 to work as an Au Pair. Since studying English Literature and German in Scotland, Freiburg and Berlin...

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