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Germany - Net immigration rises strongly

23 December 2011

In the first half of 2011, 435,000 people immigrated to Germany. That was +68,000 more arrivals than in the first half of 2010 (+19%). During the same period, departures decreased by -6,000 persons. Consequently, net migration substantially increased from 61,000 to 135,000 people (+122%), according to provisional results of the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis).

The Association of German Employers (BDA) welcomed the statistics. BDA said in a statement "it is good to know that Germany is no longer an emigration country and that more workers are coming here now."

Martin Wansleben, Head of the German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK), commented "immigration will not resolve the demographic problems by itself but it is an important element."

However, migration specialist, Klaus J. Bade is rather more cynical about the latest statistics. He said "Germany is an immigration country for a period of time only. The debt crises in countries like Spain and Greece are driving young graduates into the German labour market. We need them desperately but as soon as the economies in these countries get better, the real competition for qualified workers will start."

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