Nearly One Quarter of Germans Now Have a Foreign Background

BERLIN, GERMANY - JULY 15: Pro-Erdogan Berlin Turks, including some holding signs in Turkish that read: 'Berlin Holds Watch,' wave Turkish flags during a gathering in front of the Turkish Embassy to commemorate the first anniversary of the failed coup in Turkey on July 15, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. Hundreds …
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New statistics show that over one fifth of all people residing in Germany now originates from “migrant backgrounds”, and many are demanding more money and flexibility for the education system and labour market.

According to the German Federal Statistical Office in Wiesbaden, the number of people living in Germany has set a new record in 2016 with 22.5 per cent of people having a so-called “migrant background”. The agency states that the main driving factor has been both migration from other European countries and the massive influx of asylum seekers over the course of the migrant crisis, Handelsblatt reports.

Since the start of the survey in 2005, the year on year increase in residents with foreign origins has averaged around 8.5 per cent. Some 52 per cent of individuals with immigrant roots were born in Germany, according to the survey.

Germany now has one of the highest populations of migrants of any European nation, with 8.9 million German residents being born in a different country, and 18.5 million in total having a foreign background. The survey questions random households to assess the total population of foreigners although the Foreigners’ Central Register claims that there are at least 10 million people living in Germany who do not hold a German passport.

The largest non-European group in Germany is the significant Turkish diaspora. The number of people from the Middle East has increased by 51 per cent over the last five years and those originally from Africa have increased by 46 per cent.

There have also been huge differences between the various migrant background groups with EU migrants tending to be far more skilled and having little problems with integration. The situation with those from the Middle East and Africa is much different with many having poor educations by German standards.

The German government has had a difficult time training new migrants from the Middle East and Africa as some have called putting migrants into special schools “apartheid“. It is estimated that the costs of educating the new migrants will also set the German government back billions of euros per year.

The German Federal Employment Agency said last year that the vast majority of migrants, some 74 per cent, would likely only ever be able to work in low-skilled jobs at a time when Germany has an issue filling skilled worker positions.

The region of North Rhine-Westphalia is home to the most people with a migrant background at 4.9 million followed by Baden-Württemberg at 3,3 million, and Bavaria at 3 million.

The regions with the least number of migrants are German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s home region of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Saxony-Anhalt, and Thuringia, all regions in which the anti-mass migration Alternative for Germany party (AfD) has seen large electoral gains.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at) 


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