Here’s how many people in Germany have a migrant background

An increasing number of people in Germany have migrant roots or is a migrant themselves, according to the latest figures from the Federal Statistical Office, Destatis.

Here's how many people in Germany have a migrant background
Archive photo shows people walking in Mönckebergstraße, Hamburg. Photo: DPA

The proportion of people with a migration background in Germany is continuing to increase – but growth is slowing down, the new figures show.

According to Destatis, the number rose last year to 21.2 million people – or 26 percent of the population, which currently stands at about 83 million.

The number was a record high. However the increase in 2019 was 2.1 percent – the lowest level since 2011. In 2018 the figure was 20.8 million people.

Someone is considered to have a migrant background if they or at least one parent was born without German citizenship.

READ ALSO: How Germany plans to fight worker shortage with new immigration law

Of the 21.2 million, almost two-thirds (65 percent) – or 13.8 million people – have a migration background in another European country. Of those, 7.5 million have roots in other EU member states.

A total of 4.6 million people, or 22 percent, have roots in Asia, of which 3.2 million have a connection to the Middle East.

According to the data, almost one million people (five percent) have roots in Africa.

Around 568,000 people (three percent) have a migration background in North, Central and South America and Australia.

A total of 13 percent have roots in Turkey, followed by Poland (11 percent) and Russia (seven percent).

More than half in cleaning jobs have migration background

In view of the coronavirus crisis, researchers placed a special focus this year on jobs. They found people with a migration background were overrepresented in frontline jobs where the risk of contracting Covid-19 is higher.

According to the survey, 55 percent of all employees in cleaning occupations had a migration background in 2019, with 38 percent working in warehouses (including mail and delivery and goods handling) and 38 percent in food and drink production.

Meanwhile, 30 percent of those employed in the care of the elderly had a migration background. Migrants and those with a migrant background were also slightly overrepresented in the sale of food in relation to the total population (28 percent).

By contrast, people with a migration background were underrepresented in medical health care professions (21 percent), in teaching at schools (11 percent) and in the police and criminal investigation services as well as the courts and prisons (7 percent).

The statistics, which are put together every year, were extrapolated from a micro-census which was undertaken in a select number of German households.

Number of migrants set to rise in Germany

In the next two decades every third person in Germany will have migrant roots or be a migrant themselves, according to experts.

By 2040, about 35 percent of Germany's population will have a migration background, according to Herbert Brücker, who is in charge of the migration research department at the Federal Institute for Employment Research (IAB).

Brücker told German daily Welt last November that the country “will become more diverse”.

READ ALSO: One in three people in Germany 'will have migrant background in 20 years'


He said: “Currently, about a quarter of the people in Germany have a migrant background. In 20 years, it will be at least 35 percent, but could also be more than 40 percent.”


Migration background – (der) Migrationshintergrund

Inhabitants/citizens – (die) Einwohner

Roots – (die) Wurzeln

Overrepresented – überrepräsentiert

Underrepresented –  unterrepräsentiert

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France ‘will not welcome migrants’ from Lampedusa: interior minister

France "will not welcome migrants" from the island, Gérald Darmanin has insisted

France 'will not welcome migrants' from Lampedusa: interior minister

France will not welcome any migrants coming from Italy’s Lampedusa, interior minister Gérald Darmanin has said after the Mediterranean island saw record numbers of arrivals.

Some 8,500 people arrived on Lampedusa on 199 boats between Monday and Wednesday last week, according to the UN’s International Organisation for
Migration, prompting European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen to travel there Sunday to announce an emergency action plan.

According to Darmanin, Paris told Italy it was “ready to help them return people to countries with which we have good diplomatic relations”, giving the
example of Ivory Coast and Senegal.

But France “will not welcome migrants” from the island, he said, speaking on French television on Tuesday evening.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has called on Italy’s EU partners to share more of the responsibility.

The recent arrivals on Lampedusa equal more than the whole population of the tiny Italian island.

The mass movement has stoked the immigration debate in France, where political parties in the country’s hung parliament are wrangling over a draft law governing new arrivals.

France is expected to face a call from Pope Francis for greater tolerance towards migrants later this week during a high-profile visit to Mediterranean city Marseille, where the pontiff will meet President Emmanuel Macron and celebrate mass before tens of thousands in a stadium.