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Germany: Net immigration sinks sharply in 2023

Timothy Jones
June 27, 2024

In 2023, more people moved to Germany to live than left the country, the German Federal Statistical Office has said. But the surplus was well down on that in the previous year, largely owing to one country.

Brandenburg Gate in Berlin
Germany remains a goal for many migrantsImage: Gerald Matzka/picture alliance/dpa

Some 663,000 more people came to Germany to live in 2023 than emigrated from the country, according to official statistics released on Thursday.

That is less than half (45%) of the 2022 immigration surplus of 1,462,000, the highest such figure since records began in 1950, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) said.

However, the net immigration figure this year is still the fourth-highest since 1950, and was otherwise surpassed only in 2015 and 1992, according to Destatis.

The high net immigration in 2022 was caused by the some 1,098,000 Ukrainians who came to Germany as refugees from the conflict in their country.

In 2023, just 276,000 Ukrainians made the move.

What else did Destatis say?

There were altogether 1,933,000 immigrants to Germany and 1,270,000 people who emigrated, Destatis said. That is around 28% less immigration and 5% more emigration than a year before.

Although there was 40% less immigration from other European countries in comparison with 2022, the number of people coming from Turkey was up 56% (2023: 126,000, 2022: 81,000).

With German nationals, emigration has been winning over immigration since 2005, Destatis said, though in 2023 fewer people (74,000) left than in 2022 (83,000).

The main destination for German nationals who emigrate are Switzerland, Austria and the US, as has also been the case in previous years, the office said.

Edited by: Kieran Burke

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