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Germany takes in migrants, asylum-seekers

December 1, 2014

Migration to Germany has increased for the fourth consecutive year, according to the latest OECD figures. The country also receives the largest number of applications from new asylum-seekers.

Deutschland Schild Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/U. Deck

More than 450,000 people came to Germany as migrants in 2013, the fourth consecutive annual rise, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

In a report published on Monday, the OECD announced that the figure was more than double the number of migrants who came to Germany in 2007. That makes the country the world's second most popular destination for migrants after the United States.

The OECD announced that migration to Germany had increased at a higher rate than to any other member country. The likely cause was the freedom of movement between EU nations, according to the report.

According to the study, 68 percent of migrants in Germany have active employment, a significant increase compared to any other of the 34 countries that make up the OECD.

Launching the report in Paris, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria said: "Countries would benefit more from immigration if they consider migrants as a resource rather than a problem, and integration policies as an investment."

Asylum-seekers and integration

Germany is also the largest recipient of new asylum-seeker applications, according to the report. One in five of the 555,000 asylum-seekers who arrived in OECD countries last year applied to live in Germany. A minority of applications was accepted.

The OECD praised Germany for its progress in integrating migrants into the job market. However, the report found that more needed to be done to improve education opportunities.

Up to a third of migrants were reported to have serious problems reading and writing German, according to the report.

Members of the German parliament are meeting in Berlin on Monday to discuss how opportunities for young people from migrant backgrounds could be improved.

jm/mkg (AFP, Reuters, EPD)