More than a quarter of Germany’s population has a migration background

More than a quarter of Germany’s population has a migration background

In 2019, over 21 million people in Germany had a migration background. This amounts to over a quarter of the population.

Germany: A multinational nation

On Tuesday, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) announced in Wiesbaden that, in 2019, there were 21,2 million people in Germany with a so-called migration background - 26 percent of the total population. A migration background includes people who were born with a foreign nationality or those with at least one parent who was not German by birth.

According to Destatis, out of these 21,2 million people, 11,1 million (51 percent) had German citizenship, while the remaining 10,1 million people (48 percent) are foreigners. Just over half of the 11,1 million German citizens have had citizenship since birth (51 percent). Another 35 percent are naturalised citizens, 23 percent came to Germany as a (late) resettler and approximately 1 percent have German citizenship through adoption. 

Majority of immigrants come from Europe

The majority of people with a migration background (65 percent) are immigrants from another European country. This corresponds to 13,8 million people, of which 7,5 million originate from other EU member states.

A further 4,6 million (22 percent) are immigrants from Asia and their descendents, with 3,2 million of them having roots in the Middle East. Just under a million (5 percent) are from Africa and around 600.000 (3 percent) are from the Americas.

According to Destatis, the most important countries of origin are Turkey (13 percent), Poland (11 percent) and the Russian Federation (7 percent).

William Nehra


William Nehra

William studied a masters in Classics at the University of Amsterdam. He is a big fan of Ancient History and football, particularly his beloved Watford FC.

Read more



Leave a comment