Poll: 40 percent say Germany is not a country of immigration

Poll: 40 percent say Germany is not a country of immigration

A new survey conducted by German newspaper Berliner Morgenpost has revealed that 40 percent of Germans do not believe their home country is a country of immigration. Age groups aren't as divided on the topic as might be expected.

Germany: A land of immigration?

According to an online poll organised by German newspaper Berliner Morgenpost, 40 percent of people in Germany do not deem their home country to be an Einwanderungsland or country of immigration. 51 percent of readers said that they do believe Germany is a country of immigration, while and 9 percent were undecided. 

The survey also calculated results in relation to voters' political leanings, with an unsurprising 76 percent of far-right AfD voters saying they do not think that Germany is a land of immigration, compared to only 12 percent of Green voters.

Results were less sharply divided when it came to age. 52 percent of 18 to 29 year olds who voted in the poll said they were in agreement that Germany is a country of immigration. Among those aged 65 and over, exactly 50 percent said that Germany is not a country of immigration.

Though 40 percent of respondents don’t agree with the poll statement, Germany was declared as a de facto country of immigrants in 2000, when the citizenship law was reformed to include birth right for those born to at least one German parent.

What is the modern history of migration to Germany?

As with all countries, Germany has a long history of migration and immigration which has shaped the nation as it is today. In recent history perhaps the most significant period of immigration came during the 1950s, 60s and 70s when so-called Gastarbeiter (guest workers), were invited to work in Germany by the West and East German governments in order to help plug severe post-war labour shortages. 

Though guest workers were only offered temporary residency, often just two years, many of them stayed and made Germany their home. And while people from all over the world used this period as an opportunity to move to Germany, no community has been so influential in shaping modern Germany as those with Turkish backgrounds - with the Döner kebab being eternally cited as a beacon of Turkish-German history.

Today, it is estimated that 3 million people in Germany have Turkish heritage and, according to Destatis, one in four people have a migrant background. And just as in the 20th century, once again, Germany is planning to reform citizenship and migration laws, hoping to attract a workforce which is desperately needed.

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan



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