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Germany’s population reaches all-time high due to immigration

Young migrants gather among container-accommodations at the former Tempelhof Airport in Berlin, Germany, on August 8, 2022. (CARSTEN KOALL / AFP)

BERLIN – Germany's population swelled to an all-time record number of at least 84.3 million inhabitants at the end of 2022, due to record net immigration, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) said on Thursday.

Up to 1.45 million more people moved to Germany than left the country, according to a new report by Destatis. Net immigration was more than four times higher than in the previous year, and stood at the highest level since records began in 1950.

The increase in immigration to Germany in recent years is mainly due to war and violence in Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq, as well as the Russia-Ukraine conflict more recently, said the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). Constant immigration has also been observed from Romania, Bulgaria, and Poland

The new figures show that "external migration is important for population development in Germany," Sebastian Kluesener, research director at the Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB), told Xinhua on Thursday.

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Meanwhile, Destatis underlined that "without net immigration, the population would already have been shrinking since 1972, as more people have died than were born every year since."

The increase in immigration to Germany in recent years is mainly due to war and violence in Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq, as well as the Russia-Ukraine conflict more recently, Destatis said. Constant immigration has also been observed from Romania, Bulgaria, and Poland.

In mid-2022, Europe's largest economy was lacking more than half a million skilled workers across all occupational groups, according to the German Economic Institute (IW). The social and healthcare sectors were the worst affected.

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The German government therefore updated the country's Skilled Immigration Act in order to accelerate the recruitment of skilled workers from non-EU countries.

"To be able to compete for talent and auxiliary workers, we are offering new, and more importantly, more straightforward ways to work in Germany," said Federal Labor Minister Hubertus Heil, adding that the goal was to create the most modern immigration legislation in Europe.