Number of foreigners moving to Germany declines by more than half, hits ten-year low

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The number of foreigners living in Germany increased by 1.8 percent last year, the lowest rate in a decade, according to official figures released Monday.

The Federal Statistical Office said the foreign-born population rose by about 204,000 to 11.4 million, in a year when Germany and other countries in Europe and beyond were hit by the coronavirus pandemic, which brought travel and other restrictions.


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Net immigration decreased by 31 percent compared with 2019. Germany’s overall population stands at 83 million.

The number of foreigners moving to Germany in 2020 from countries outside the European Union declined by more than half, the office said.

The number of incoming Indian citizens showed the single biggest decrease, followed by Syrians. Only 8,000 Indians moved to Germany in 2020, compared to 21,000 in 2019. The number of Syrians who arrived decreased to 21,000 from 31,000.

More Americans and Chinese left Germany than moved into the country.

“After long phases of net immigration the number of Chinese and American citizens leaving surpasses the number of those moving here,” the office reported. “The Central Register of Foreigners records a net emigration of about 3,000 people for both citizenships.”

Overall, 21.2 million or 26 percent of people living in Germany in 2019, the latest figure available, had some kind of immigrant background, such as one or both parents having foreign citizenship.

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