Germany Federal Office of Statistics

21 million people in Germany have a migration background

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A quarter of Germany’s residents have a migration background

21.2 million people in Germany have a migration background, that is 26 percent of the population. This was announced by the Federal Statistical Office in Wiesbaden. However, the numbers vary widely depending on the federal state.

According to the Federal Statistical Office, more than 21 million people in Germany had a migration background in 2019 – that’s 26 percent of the population. In some professions they are overrepresented.

In Germany has a migrant background more than one in four residents. The number rose last year to 21.2 million people and thus to 26 percent of the population, as the Federal Statistical Office announced in Wiesbaden on Tuesday. The growth compared to the previous year was 2.1 percent, the lowest level since 2011.

Almost two thirds (65 percent) of people with a migration background are immigrants and their descendants from another European country.

22 percent immigrated from Asia or descendants of Asian immigrants; this includes the Federal Office, for example, Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. Almost five percent have roots in Africa, three percent in North, Central and South America and Australia. The most important countries of origin are still Turkey (13 percent), followed by Poland (eleven percent) and the Russian Federation (seven percent).

According to the Federal Office’s definition, a migration background exists if you were not born with German citizenship or if this is the case for at least one parent.

Clear west-east divide

According to the Federal Office, there is still a clear west-east divide among the federal states: Bremen had the largest proportion of people with a migration background with 36.5 percent in 2019, followed by Hesse with 34.4 percent and Hamburg with 33.9 percent. The lowest share was in Thuringia (7.8 percent), Saxony-Anhalt (8.0 percent) and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (8.1 percent).

A little more than half of the people with a migration background held a German passport; 46 percent of them had immigrated themselves, 51 percent had German citizenship since birth. According to the Federal Office, as in the previous year, the survey only recorded people in private households and not in shared accommodation.

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The Federal Office also provided figures on occupations in which a particularly large number of people with a migration background work: In cleaning occupations, they provided 55 percent of the workforce. Last year, 30 percent of employees in geriatric care had a migration background, and 28 percent in food sales. In contrast, the group was underrepresented in medical health professions (21 percent), in teaching at general education schools (eleven percent), in law enforcement and criminal service, and in judicial and judicial enforcement (seven percent).