Thursday, May 09, 2013

Immigration To Low Unemployment Germany Increases

For years, Germany had slightly negative population growth, due mainly or entirely to negative natural population growth due to a too low birth rate, but also due to the lack of net immigration.

2012 numbers on births and deaths in Germany aren't yet available, but the German statistics bureau has now released migration numbers.(auf Deutsch) It showed that net immigration has increased dramatically, to 369,000, or about 0.45% of the current population. Immigration has increased particularly dramatically from countries like Spain and Greece, but is still small compared to immigration from Poland, from which more immigrants (176,000)  arrived than from Spain (29,000), Portugal (14,000), Italy (42,000) and Greece (33,000) combined.

With the German labor market continuing to strengthen while the Southern European continues to deteriorate, the now still modest inflow from Southern Europe is likely to increase further in 2013. With more than 6 million unemployed the mere 29,000 inflow from Spain in particular is, despite the 45% gain compared to 2011, still remarkably and surprisingly low. This likely reflects that Spaniards in particular are reluctant to move away from homes whose values are now far below what they bought it for and often well below the size of their mortgage loans. In all countries, unemployment benefits and the language barrier also limit emigration.

German immigration statistics has a separate category for migration of ethnic Germans, and for that category, there was actually net emigration, most likely to even richer (and even lower unemployment) German speaking countries Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.


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