German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier (4th from left) with representatives of migrant organisations at the Schloss Bellevue, Berlin, in 2018. People with a migrant background currently account for about a quarter of the country's total population / Photo: Femi Awoniyi

Migration boosts Germany’s population to new high

According to new figures released by the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), the population of the country stood at 83.2 million at the end of 2019 – 200,000 more than a year earlier.

The population figure represents a new high, Destatis said even though the population growth was much smaller than in the years 2013 to 2018.

The agency also revealed that there were 42 million women and 41 million men at the end of 2019.

The population growth in 2019 was exclusively due to net immigration, Destatis said. Otherwise the population would have fallen as more people died than were born each year in Germany since 1972. For example, between 770,000 and 790,000 people were born in Germany last year while about  930,000 died.

People with a migrant background currently account for about a quarter of the country’s total population. Someone is considered to have a migrant background if they or at least one parent was born without German citizenship.

Based on the results of a microcensus, Destatis reported last year that approximately 20.8 million people in Germany had a migrant background in 2018, a 2.5% increase compared with a year earlier (2017: 20.3 million).

By 2040, about 35% of Germany’s population will have a migrant background, according to experts.

Economists say that Germany will face a further shortage of skilled workers and therefore needs to lure people from other countries.

According to the Federal Institute for Employment Research or IAB, Germany will need 400,000 migrants per year up until 2060 so that the working population can remain steady.

A new law to make the immigration of skilled workers from non-EU countries to Germany easier will enter into effect on 1 March 2020 and it’s expected to attract foreign job seekers to fill vacancies in the country.

Femi Awoniyi

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