Germany’s population is growing due to immigration

Word has got around that it is good to live and work in Germany: Germany as a country of immigration is more attractive than ever. Since 1950 there have only been a few years in which more people have emigrated than immigrated to Germany. German reunification in 1990 laid the foundation for high immigration rates, which peaked in 1992. The good economic situation and ongoing stability on the labor market can be attributed to the positive balance. This was only negative at the time of the global recession in 2008 and 2009, for the first time since 1984.

The gap between immigration and emigration widened between 2010 and 2015. The high positive migration balance of foreigners in 2015, which can also be attributed to the high level of refugee migration, fell significantly again in 2016. So more and more people are coming to Germany to develop professionally here.

Young immigrants in particular come to Germany, which closes a gap that can be foreseen in Germany due to low birth rates. In 2019, over 83 million people lived in Germany. On average, they were 44.5 years old. In purely mathematical terms, the younger generation in Germany cannot replace the generation of their parents. Young immigrants in particular can fill this demographic gap by being available to the German labor market for a long time, alleviating the shortage of skilled workers and contributing to prosperity and economic success. Suitable qualifications are a prerequisite for this.

Immigrants are increasingly
better qualified

More and more immigrants of working age have a university degree. The qualification profile of immigrants has improved significantly over the last few years. The proportion of people between the ages of 25 and 65 with their own migration experience and an academic degree rose to such an extent from 2005 to 2016 that it was roughly the same as that of the general population in Germany of the same age. This means that the qualification structure of immigrants no longer differs significantly from that of the entire population in Germany. The fact that more and more academics are immigrating to Germany can be explained by the simplified immigration options for this group of people.

With the entry into force of the Recognition Act in 2012, all those interested in immigrants and those who have already immigrated have the opportunity to have their foreign qualifications recognized in Germany. This step is necessary for immigrants who do not come from the EU, do not have a university degree and want to take up work in Germany. For citizens from the EU who work in a regulated profession – such as a doctor or lawyer – is the recognition also a prerequisite for being able to practice your profession in Germany. The chances of success are good. The total number of positive decisions regarding the recognition of foreign professional qualifications rose from 7,980 to 34,695 between 2012 and 2019. Of these, 50.2% even achieved full equivalence. Immigrants therefore, have good prerequisites for looking for a job and starting their careers in Germany.

Almost 46,000 international scientists were working at German research institutions in 2016. It is particularly gratifying that recently more researchers from the so-called MINT Subjects (mathematics, computer science, natural sciences and technology) found their way to Germany. In recent years, the number of scientists in the fields of mathematics, natural and engineering sciences has risen steadily (source:DAAD2019). As a highly specialized industrial location, Germany needs your know-how in order to strengthen its innovative strength and international competitiveness.

There is still room for improvement –
issuing residence permits to qualified immigrants

Many well-qualified people come to Germany to build their professional future here. There are fundamental differences: Citizens from the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, or Switzerland have free access to the German labor market and do not need one residence permit for this purpose.

Citizens who do not come from the EU, on the other hand, need a visa. The number of third-country nationals who received a corresponding residence permit as a specialist or highly qualified worker in 2019 was over 39,000. So more and more residence permits are being issued to well-trained workers.

The importance of the “EU Blue Card” is increasing significantly. The granting of this residence permit rose from 2,190 in 2012 to 13,137 in 2019. As before, qualified employees in professions that generally require a two-year vocational training make up the majority with around 21,305 newly awarded titles. In the Land of Ideas, 1,484 new ones were added in 2019 Residence permits for the purpose of self-employment and 1,965 titles awarded to researchers.

Bring your family in

Germany is child-friendly! Employees with a residence or settlement permit, in particular an “EU Blue Card” for Germany, can easily bring their families to join them if there is enough living space available, the family’s livelihood is secured and the spouse is of legal age. The number of visas issued for the purpose of family reunification has increased steadily since 2010. In 2019, 96,633 visa titles were awarded for this (source: BAMF, 2020).

Immigrants contribute to growth.

Germany’s economy is growing, as can be seen from the development of production potential. The production potential corresponds to the amount of all goods and services produced and essentially depends on three factors: the number of people who produce the goods and services, the time required for production and the degree of productivity of the employees and those employed Machines are. Employment-oriented immigration has a positive effect on potential production through two channels: On the one hand, immigration increases the number of workers and more goods and services can be produced. On the other hand, ongoing investigations show that labor migrants are on average better qualified than domestic workers and consequently increase labor productivity. In a model calculation, the Advisory Council for the Assessment of Macroeconomic Development has estimated clearly positive growth effects of general migration on the medium-term production potential for the next few years. If only qualified immigrants were included in the corresponding estimates, the results would be even more positive.

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