Population movement in Germany

Against the backdrop of the low figures of the birth- and mortality level, population movements become more and more important regarding the population development.

Population movement affects the number of the population as well as the structure, e.g. by age, gender, education and many more. Thereby the reasons for the movement of the people are changing over time.

After the Second World War Germany became an important country of immigration in Europe. During the 1960’s and 1970’s especially through the immigration of so called “immigrant workers”. And after the ban on recruitment in 1973 mainly through family reunion of these workers.  In the 1990’s the flow of migration was minted by resettlers, asylum seekers and refugees. Post millennial and notably in the last years there was a significant increase in immigration of well educated workers.

Migration of foreigners to Germany

The major part of foreigners who immigrate or emigrate to or from Germany have their origin in European countries including Turkey (in 2011 more than 75%). The big increase in 2011 can be narrowed down into two regions:

– On the one hand, eastern countries like Poland, Hungary, Lithuania and Estonia, because the free movement of workers from the EU in these countries pertains also on the German labour market. Romania and Bulgaria also loosened their regulations concerning the labour markets since 2011.

– The second group consists of countries like Greece, Spain and Italy, because the population is hit very hard by the economic crisis. They cherish great expectation concerning job opportunities because of the successful economy in Germany.

Furthermore we can notice that the education level of the immigrants has increased steadily.

Migration of Germans

The emigration of the German population was relative minor until the 1990’s excluding the time directly after the Second World War. In the mid-1970’s approximately 50,000 people annually emigrated abroad. This figure increased over time and in 2008 there was a new peak with 175,000 emigrants. Since this time the numbers are slightly declining with 155,000 in 2009 and 141,000 in 2010.

Even the mobility of the German population rose since the 1970’s. This is a consequence of the globalisation. The age of the emigrants in 2009 amounts 31.6 years for women and 34 years for men in average. Compared with the average of the German population (45.4 years for women and 42.3 years for men) the age of the emigrants can be described as rather young.

Approximately two out of three of the Germans are emigrating in European countries, whereas Switzerland had been the most popular country with 22,000 emigrants. Classical immigration countries beyond the European Union are the United States, Canada and Australia.

Migration balance

In current times the Germans are an aging and shrinking population. Due to the fact that the birth rate is further declining, the evolution of the population depends on the migration balance.

In general Germany is characterized through a high migration capacity. Thus, a high number of immigrations is faced with a high number of emigrations. From 1991 to 2010 approximately 14 million people from abroad immigrated to Germany. In the same time roughly 11 million people with a migration background emigrated from Germany. In the last years the numbers of immigrations are more and more declining.

The Federal Office of Statistics predicts an immigration-surplus of approximately 200,000 people annually. However this number amounts only 154.000 in 2010, what demonstrates that this assumption is probably too positive.

The conclusion is that Germany has to take the development of the population serious and should try to influence it by means of an active labour market policy to kept their successful economy.

written by Matthias Lerch, Nicolas Lauer, Timo Bug



Mexican immigration declined sharply last year

Immigration from Mexico to other countries, including the United States, declined sharply last year. The data released recently indicate a decline of 25 percent or 226,000 people immigrating from Mexico to other countries for the year that ended August 2008 compared to the previous year. Most of the immigrants headed to the United States.

Researchers believe that although heightened security at the border has played a role, the change is due mainly to a decrease in illegal crossings because of the economic hardships in the United States; and that the shrinking United States labor market results in fewer worker border crossings.

In addition, the final outflow of migrants from Mexico, taking into account departures and returns, dropped by half for the same time period ending in August 2008, according to data resulting from detailed household interviews conducted quarterly by the census agency in Mexico, the National Institute of Statistics and Geography.

In spite of the economic conditions in the United States the number of Mexicans living in the United States that returned to Mexico did not increase compared to the previous year, according to the Mexican census figures. Just under half a million Mexicans (450,000) returned to Mexico in 2008 as in 2007.

Although the Border Patrol force grew 17 percent to 17,500 agents last year it seems many who wish to reach the United States do in spite of the added security at the United States-Mexico border. However, crossing is expensive and arduous, requiring illegal travelers to rely on smugglers to make the crossing across scorching deserts and hidden mountain terrain. For example reaching Los Angeles from Mexicali, according to immigrants and social workers, costs $3,000 to $5,000 in smugglers’ fees. The high fees combined with lower income make the illegal crossing less appealing.

Eventually, it is likely past immigration patterns from Mexico to the United States will resume. The Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California, San Diego interviewed one thousand Mexicans in California and in a Yucatan village that has had many migrants in the past. Based on the interviews the researchers concluded that once the job market rebounds in the United States Mexican workers will return.

The “Blue Card”

As everybody knows, there are several countries like USA and Canada where you need some kind of documentation for a legal stay and work such as national Green Card programs. Some of these programs were introduced also in single countries of the European Union.

In the recent past there have been many thoughts about starting a program as USA has, the Green Card, also for the whole European Union. In January 2005 the originator of the idea, the EU commissioner for justice Franco Fratini, called the idea a “Blue Card” after the color in the European flag. This program called by the formal name of “Attractive conditions for the admission and residence of highly qualified immigrants” Memo/07/423, is a scheme to attract highly skilled workers and talented immigrants to the European Union.

The reason why some politicians came out with an idea like this is because Europe is suffering from aging of its population and also wants the EU economy to be more competitive and knowledge-driven. So far the Blue Card is just a proposal, and not a working program.

If u would like to know more about this scheme click here and also you can read some news about this topic here.


Blue Card

– Does not give permanent residency

– Valid up to two years, renewable

– Allows holders and families to live, work and travel in EU

– Applicant must have one-year EU job contract with salary of three times minimum wage

– Permanent residency automatic after five years

Green Card

– Gives holder permanent residency

– Valid for 10 years, renewable

– Allows holder to live, work and travel in the US

– Five channels to seek a card: employment, family links, a lottery, investment, or resident since before 1972

– Holders can become US citizens after five years

Economic and Labor Market Trends in the USA

The Economic and Labor Market Trends in USA study describes key changes taking place and the implications for social and economic policies in the United States designed to help low-income working families and their children, particularly those families that include immigrants. The emerging key points which are considered in this study are diversity, the demand for low-skilled labor, the skill gap and working poor.

In the article you can find the most occupied positions in the USA, based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, as well as how the changing workforce reflects five central trends, and also the distribution of the U.S. Workforce by Race and Hispanic Origin.

Linda & Kristina