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Immigration from Non-European Countries Has Almost Doubled

Chart of the Month – February 2017

In recent years, immigration to Germany from countries outside of Europe has strongly increased. As disclosed by the Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB) in Wiesbaden, approximately 3.8 million people from other continents such as Asia, Africa, America and Oceania immigrated between 2005 and 2015. This was almost twice as many people than a quarter of a century before: In the period between 1980 and 1990, barely 2 million non-Europeans came to Germany.

In the last ten years, people from Syria made up the largest group of non-European immigrants (440,000), followed by the USA, the traditionally largest country of immigration (324,000). These countries are followed by China (212,000), India (161,000) and Brazil (94,000), which are countries that have hardly been associated with Germany through migration so far. In addition, as a consequence of flight and expulsion, there are more immigrants deriving from countries of the Near and Middle East today than in the past. As a global location for business and science, Germany has gained in importance also for a large number of further countries of origin.

Just like the regions of origin, the people who immigrate are as different in the same way. “Whereas in the past migrant workers and late emigrants made up the majority of immigrants, the migration process has become more complex today“, migration researcher Dr. Andreas Ette (BiB) explains. “Abilities and qualifications of immigrants are highly heterogeneous, as well as their motives for migration and legal status.”

The picture shows a bar chart which illustrates the number of non-European immigrants in Germany according to the country of origin. Countries of Origin of Non-European Immigrants to Germany

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© Federal Institute for Population Research - 2017