Hundreds of Thousands of Germans Leave Home in Years Since Migrant Crisis


Hundreds of thousands of German citizens have left the country in the three years since the height of the 2015 migrant crisis, according to statistics from the German federal government’s newly-released 2018 migration report.

From 2005 to 2015, the year of the migrant crisis, Germany saw an average negative emigrant balance — the total number of German nationals leaving against those returning to the country — of around 39,000 but that number has ballooned in recent years to nearly 100,000 per year from 2016 to 2018, Die Welt reports.

2018 also saw a high level of net immigration with 460,000 more immigrants than emigrants. The largest group, 195,000 people, came from other European Union member-states, while Syrians topped the list for countries in Asia.

According to the Central Register of Foreigners (AZR), a total of 526,000 non-EU foreigners moved to Germany in 2018, 97,000 coming via “family reunification” — chain migration.

Around 170,000 of the total were asylum seekers or refugees from EU quota programmes.

Part of the reason for the huge growth in the number of emigrants has been a change in how the federal government records statistics, a change that is viewed as more reliable and brings into question if the statistics prior to 2016 were lower than reality.

As a result of the high levels of immigration and of German citizens leaving the country, around a quarter of the German population are either foreign-born or have a parent who is born overseas.

When broken down into age groups, the oldest demographics have the most native Germans, while the youngest age groups are much heavier in migration-background individuals.

In certain areas, such as Western Germany, nearly half, or 42 per cent, of children under six years old come from migration backgrounds.

A study by the Federal Institute for Population Research highlighted the exceptionally low birth rates in Germany as a huge factor in the country’s rapid demographic changes, explaining: “No other country in the world has had such low birth rates over such a long period of time.”

Germany has seen an average birthrate of around 1.5 children per woman for nearly 40 years since 1975. Among the 788,000 births in Germany in 2018, 105,000 were children without German citizenship — nearly double the number of 2014.

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


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.