Recent figures from the United Nations show Germany is only second to Turkey worldwide for accepting migrants when previously it wasn’t even in the top ten.
Recent figures from the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) revealed that 2015 was the year of the largest migration of people in human history with 65 million fleeing their homes for reasons of conflict, economics, drought and political persecution.
Many sought refuge within their own country, but those who chose to leave travelled to two countries: Turkey and Germany. While some argue that many migrants in Turkey wish to come to Germany, the Germans have still accepted over 1.8 million migrants in total, Die Welt reports.
According to the agency the proportion of migrants to the population of the world is the highest it has ever been, with most migrants originating from Syria. While some 40.8 million migrants sought shelter within their own borders, 24 million wandered to neighbouring nations and beyond.
At the end of 2015 the UNHCR did not consider Germany a main destination for mass migration because the flow had been so massive that the Germans could only account for 300,000 asylum applications by the end of December, with another 450,000 estimated waiting to be filed. By the end of 2015, the German state could account for 1.1 million migrants, but even that was proven to be wrong.
In April of this year a new number of total migrants emerged from the German authorities at 1.5 million. When this figure is added to already exiting migrants who have either succeeded in their asylum application or who live in Germany illegally having their applications rejected, the number rises to 1.8 million in total — a further 300,000 more than April’s figure.
Only Turkey has a higher number of migrants at 2.7 million, up from 2.5 million at the end of 2015. The Turks are seen as a natural haven for Syrian migrants due to the two countries sharing a common border. Also in the top ten list is another country which borders Syria, Lebanon. The Lebanese government has taken in 1.1 million Syrian migrants (or 183 migrants per 1000 people).
While Syrians account for the majority of migrants in Turkey and Lebanon, they are falling as a share of the migrant population flowing into Germany and other parts of Europe. In Germany Syrians accounted for only one out of five migrants who came to the country with many coming from North Africa, Iraq or Afghanistan.
The migrant crisis has shifted gears since the EU-Turkey deal, with Africans crossing into Italy, though some are sceptical of the Turkish resolve to uphold the agreement. The number Syrians in Germany could also increase by 500,000 due to family reunification laws which would take the total up to 2.3 million.
One expert revealed that the worst case scenario for Germany could be much more dire as family reunification combined with pressures to accept more migrants from Turkey and a torrent of migrants from Africa could lead to Germany to beating Turkey by a large margin, with migrants totalling 6.4 million — eight per cent of the entire German population.