Around 21.2 million people in Germany had a migrant background in 2019, an increase of 2.1 percent from a year ago, and they accounted for 26 percent of the country’s population, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) announced on Tuesday.
Destatis described a person as having a migrant background if he or she or at least one parent did not acquire German citizenship by birth.
A wider time comparison showed that this was also “the lowest increase since 2011.”
Since 2011, the population in Germany had “continuously increased,” Destatis said in mid-June.
However, the annual increase had slowed down since a record growth in 2015 when immigration to Germany hit a peak. In the long term, Destatis still expects Germany’s population to shrink to around 78 million by 2060.
Around 52 percent of the people with a migrant background were German citizens in 2019 and almost 48 percent did not have a German passport, according to Destatis. This was the same share as in the previous year.
Almost two-thirds of all people with a migrant background were immigrants and their descendants from other European countries, according to Destatis.
Some 4.6 million immigrants from Asia and their descendants represented 22 percent of all people with a migrant background.
The German economy is heavily dependent on international workers to fill vacancies.
Germany recently introduced a skilled worker immigration law to facilitate immigration to Germany of qualified skilled workers from countries outside the European Union (EU).
Last week, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees announced that the number of highly qualified immigrants that were granted an EU Blue Card by German authorities reached a new high in 2019.
The EU Blue Card, introduced in 2012, is a temporary residence permit for highly qualified immigrants from non-European third countries and also includes the prospect of obtaining a permanent right of residence at an early stage as well as to continue to migrate within the EU.
As in the previous year, around a quarter of the Blue Cards were issued to Indian nationals in 2019, followed by nationals of China, the Russian Federation and Turkey, according to the Office.
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