The German Federal Statistical Office has issued figures showing that, for the first time since German reunification, there were more emigrants from Germany last year than there were immigrants.
More people are taking off than landing in Germany
The number of immigrants was almost constant compared to the year before at 682,000, but the number of emigrants rose by 100,000 to 738,000.
Most of the immigrants came from EU countries, with 119,000 Poles forming by far the largest group. Only Turkey, with 26,200 immigrants, remains a substantial source of immigration from outside the EU.
Quite a few (108,000) were Germans coming back, mostly from Poland and the USA.
Big cities were their preferred destinations, with Berlin and Hamburg taking a disproportionately large number.
Meanwhile, the numbers of Germans and foreigners leaving the country continues to rise; altogether 56,000 more people left than arrived. The Statistical Office in Wiesbaden admits that its figures for departures are not perfect this year, because of administrative changes in local registration offices which have led to some people being taken off the registers who should not have been on them in the first place.
But it says that it's quite clear that, while the number of foreigners arriving is still greater than the number of those leaving (+11,000), the sum for German movements is seriously negative (-66,000).
The Office summarizes: "The emigration of the Germans continues."
Editor: Neil King