Just How Much of Germany’s Population Comes From Migrants?

By Stephen Fuchs on Email @StephenWFuchs

New numbers on the German population are out from Germany’s Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) and the most recent data shows that 21 percent of those living in the country are from a migrant background. It’s quite a large number, making Germany the second largest host of international migrants, but what does it mean for the welcoming country?

The term ‘migrant’ has been thrown around a lot lately, but what does the term really refer to in this report? Essentially, anyone who either did not have a German passport at birth or has at least one parent that is not a German citizen, is considered to be a migrant.

17.1 million fall under the classification of a migrant

With a population of 82.2 million at the time of this study, 17.1 million fall under the classification of a migrant. 6.4 million of those actually migrated to Germany, while 5 million were technically of German decent, but were just born out of the country.

Yes, those are a lot of numbers to process. Yes, you were probably aware that Germany has a lot of migrants. Yes, you are probably pointing your finger at the refugees for making the number so high. Yes, you may be partially incorrect.

The large hole in this report is that it does not actually include the recent influx of refugees entering the country since 2015. As with most census data, the newly released numbers are a bit behind the times, as the data is actually from 2014. Of course this means that the 1 in 5 statistic is likely off, as the number of refugees entering since 2015 is estimated to be over one million.

What this does show though is that even before opening the border, Germany was a land of migrants. It has been for quite some time. What would the percentage look like if the refugees were included? That 21 percent would be bumped up to 22 or 23 percent. Still large for a total population, but probably a lot less than the media reports would have you to believe.

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Sources: DestatisRT News

Photo: Georgie Pauwels [Flickr]

Stephen Fuchs
Stephen founded German Pulse and LGBT Germany out of a passion to introduce Americans to a Germany that goes beyond beer and polka (although with enough beer he has been known to polka it up a bit). He's a coffee addict, lover of wine and good times, a hit in the kitchen and editor of TV commercials. You can follow him on Twitter (@StephenWFuchs) to find out a lot more.
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