Record one in four people in Germany now has a migration background

Record one in four people in Germany now has a migration background

Around 20,8 million people with a migration background are now living in Germany, according to the latest figures from the Federal Statistical Office, Destatis. That’s around one-quarter of the total population, which currently stands at 82 million. 

One in four in Germany has a migration background

Germany is clearly the place to be. According to statistics released by Destatis on Wednesday, the number of people with a migration background living in the federal republic in 2018 rose by 2,5 percent to a record 20,8 million. Now, one in every four people either migrated here or has at least one parent who was not born as a German citizen. 

Of these 20,8 million, 52 percent actually have German citizenship, half of them since birth. The other 48 percent possess foreign passports. 13,5 million people, therefore, were not born here in Germany, but migrated here during the course of their lives. 

Migrants come to Germany for family and work

Although refugees and asylum seekers tend to grab the headlines, especially after Angela Merkel’s 2015 decision to open Germany’s borders, only around 15 percent of these migrants came to the federal republic seeking asylum. Around half of this 15 percent came from the Middle East. 

Rather than asylum, immigrants named family (48%) and employment (19%) as their two most important motives for coming to Germany. Five percent also stated that they had come to Germany to study or for training. 

Those who have come to Germany for family reasons come mainly from Europe (72%), as did those who came to Germany because of their job or to look for a job (85%). Of those who came to study or for education and training, 40 percent came from Europe and another 38 percent from Asia.  



Abi Carter

Managing Editor at IamExpat Media. Abi studied German and History at the University of Manchester and has since lived in Berlin, Hamburg and Utrecht, working since 2017 as a writer,...

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