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The social situation in Germany

Most of the ten million foreigners living in Germany at the end of 2016 were EU citizens: 42.6 percent or 4.3 million people. Polish (783 thousand), Italian (611 thousand) and Romanian (534 thousand) citizenship were the most frequently represented. The largest foreign group by nationality are the 1.5 million Turks. The average length of stay of Turkish nationals at the end of 2016 was 28.8 years. In contrast, the high proportion of foreigners with Syrian citizenship, for example, is relatively new. The 638,000 Syrians made up 6.4 percent of all foreigners at the end of 2016, but had only been in Germany for an average of two years.

Facts

According to the Central Register of Foreigners (AZR), a total of 10.0 million foreigners were living in Germany at the end of 2016. Of these, 42.6 percent were citizens of one of the 27 other member states of the European Union (4.28 million people). 27.8 percent had the citizenship of another European country and 20.7 percent that of an Asian country. Foreigners with the citizenship of an African state had a share of 5.1 percent, the share of American foreigners in all foreigners was 2.6 percent at the end of 2016.

In relation to foreigners from EU countries, most of them were citizens of Poland (783 thousand), Italy (611 thousand), Romania (534 thousand), Greece (348 thousand), Croatia (333 thousand) and Bulgaria (263 thousand). At the end of 2016, 1.5 million foreigners had Turkish citizenship - that was a good seventh of all foreigners living in Germany (14.9 percent). 1.1 million foreigners were citizens of one of the Yugoslav successor states (one in nine or 11.3 percent of all foreigners). 6.5 percent of all foreigners (654 thousand) came from the successor states of the Soviet Union - most of them from Russia (245 thousand) and the Ukraine (136 thousand).

The high proportion of foreigners with Syrian (6.4 percent), Afghan (2.5 percent) or Iraqi (2.3 percent) citizenship is relatively new. Accordingly, at the end of 2016, the average length of stay of the 638,000 Syrians was 2.0 years. The 253,000 Afghans stayed in Germany for an average of 3.4 years at the end of 2016 and the 227,000 Iraqis it was 4.2 years. The length of stay of foreigners with Romanian (4.5 years) or Bulgarian (4.9 years) citizenship was also well below the average length of stay of all foreigners (15.4 years). In contrast, the average length of stay of nationals from the former recruiting countries Turkey (28.8 years), Italy (27.0 years), Greece (24.7 years) and Croatia (22.1 years) was above average. The average length of stay correlates with the average age of the foreigners: For example, the foreigners with Syrian or Afghan citizenship, with an average age of 24.3 and 23.8 years, were only about half as old as the foreigners with Turkish (44, 0 years) or Italian (43.4 years) citizenship.

Data Source

Federal Statistical Office: Foreign population. Results of the Central Register of Foreigners (AZR)

Terms, methodological notes or reading aids

The Central Register of Foreigners (AZR) is a nationwide file for which the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) is responsible. All foreigners who do not have a German passport and are not only staying in Germany temporarily (less than three months) are registered in the AZR.

The inventory figures on the foreign population from the AZR and from the population update differ from one another due to different delimitations. A direct comparison of the results is therefore not possible.

More information about the Length of stay you'll find here...

The number of foreigners and the distribution of citizenship are also influenced by naturalizations. Information on naturalization you'll find here...