Germany has become the most popular destination in Europe for migrants. It is also the second most popular globally, second only to the US. The leading German broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) reports that most migrants bound for Germany are seeking better opportunities and living standards. Here is an overview of migration trends in Germany.
Germany‘s statistical agency Destatis found that in 2018, 20.8 million German residents had a migrant background. Each of them had at least one parent who was not a German-born citizen. Most migrants in Germany are from other European countries, primarily Poland, Romania, and Italy. The influx of migrants led to notable increase in the country’s workforce. Many of the migrants looking for employment in Germany were more qualified than the local workers. Migrants also increase local consumption and spending, leading to increased economic activity within the country.
The German Council of Economic Experts credits an important part of Germany’s economic growth to the production potential. This corresponds to the sum of all manufactured goods and services. The production potential depends on three essential factors. These are the number of people producing goods and services, the time required for production, and the productivity of workers and machines. Labour-related immigration has contributed positively to all three factors.
Germany faces an impending demographic challenge caused by low birth rates. Destatis reports that the average age in Germany is 44.4 years. The fertility rate in the country is 1.4 births per woman. The prevailing fertility rate makes it impossible for the next generation to replace the ageing workforce. Without intervention German firms will struggle to find qualified workers. This issue will only be resolved by Germany’s progressive immigration policy. The inflow of young migrants will bridge the demographic gap.
In 2018 Germany’s Institute for Employment Research (IAB) reported that the country’s economy was on course to create 650,000 new jobs. 100,000 of these jobs would be taken by people who arrive in the country as refugees. Germany’s Recognition Act (Anerkennungsgesetz) states that immigrants can have their foreign qualifications recognised in Germany. However, the IAB adds that there is a need to streamline the processes of acknowledging foreign diplomas and other qualifications from non-EU countries. These changes would increase job opportunities for migrants.
Citizens of EU countries such as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland do not need a residence title to access the German labor market. Non-EU residents require a Blue Card to work and live in Germany. The immigration policy has been adapted to make it easier for migrants to get Blue Cards.
Germany’s new immigration law aims to attract qualified workers from non-EU countries. The law will allow skilled workers with vocational qualifications to seek work at par with university graduates. It will also become largely irrelevant whether Germans or EU citizens are available for vacant positions. Employers will be able to hire the best suited applicants regardless of their nationality. The new immigration law will make German language skills much more important. Language proficiency will become a prerequisite to apply for a Blue Card. More than 12 million migrants live and work in Germany. The vast majority of them are fluent in German. Most of them send remittances to support their families via convenient channels such as the Ria Money Transfer App.
During recent years Germany has absorbed very high numbers of refugees. DW reports that some German cities have reached their capacity to host them. Some cities have successfully petitioned their federal states to prevent more refugees from being sent to them. These cities are simply unable to gainfully accommodate any more refugees. However, skilled migrants applying via the structured visa process are perennially welcome.
There is a notable synergy between Germany and its immigrants. The country has made a lot of progress in tailoring its immigration laws to meet long term goals. The process is now more meritocratic and result-oriented. This kind of structured migration will create many opportunities for migrants and economic growth for Germany.
About the author:
Hemant G is a contributing writer at Sparkwebs LLC, a Digital and Content Marketing Agency. When he’s not writing, he loves to travel, scuba dive, and watch documentaries.