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15.3 million people have a migrant background

WIESBADEN – Roughly 15.3 million people with a migrant background lived in Germany on 9 May 2011. Based on the results of the 2011 Census, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) also reports that this is a share of 19.2% of the population. Persons with a migrant background comprise all foreigners, Germans who immigrated themselves after 1955 and Germans with at least one parent who immigrated to Germany after 1955.

More than half (60.2%) of the people with a migrant background are Germans, 39.8% are foreigners. Far more people have come from abroad (63.0%) than were born in Germany (37.0%).

The population with a migrant background is much younger (35 years on average) than the population without a migrant background (45 years on average). This difference is due to the persons with a migrant background who were born in Germany: their average age is 19 years, while those who came to Germany from abroad are an average 45 years old (as the people without a migrant background). More than half (55.0%) of the people with a migrant background who were born in Germany are under 18 years of age.

Almost all migrants (96.7%) live in the western Länder and in Berlin and only 3.3% in the eastern Länder; 43.4% of the migrants live in large cities with at least 100,000 inhabitants and 14.4% in municipalities with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants.

Two thirds (66.6%) of the working-age migrants (aged 15 to 64 years) are in employment as are three fourths of the people without a migrant background (75.9%). For women the difference is greater than for men: 40.2% of the working-age women with a migrant background are not in employment (as are 27.9% of the women without a migrant background). In contrast, 26.5% of the working-age men who have a migrant background do not work (and 20.3% of the men without a migrant background).

There also is a marked difference between migrants and people without a migrant background when it comes to school education: 15.5% of the population with a migrant background who are at least 15 years of age have not completed school education, the corresponding share is 2.3% among the population without a migrant background. The percentage of people without completed school education is particularly high among those who have come to Germany themselves to live here (18.8%). The share of people with a migrant background who were born in Germany and have not completed school education is still twice as high (5.3%) as that of people without a migrant background (2.3%). To account for the different age structures of the population with and without a migrant background, people who are still at school are not included in these figures.

The average household size of those with a migrant background is 3.4 people while people without a migrant background live in households with an average 2.7 members. Migrants mostly live in four-person households (24.1%) and persons without a migrant background in two-person households (34.1%).

Fewer people with a migrant background live alone (11.6%) than people without a migrant background (18.0%). Migrants more often live in traditional families consisting of married couples and children (54.0% in contrast to 37.2% in the comparison group), while there are much fewer married couples without children (15.1% in contrast to 23.9% in the comparison group). Unmarried cohabiting couples account for 6.7% of the population with a migrant background and for 9.6% of the population without a migrant background.

Overall, 56.6% of those without a migrant background but only 35.5% of migrants live in owner-occupied dwellings. At 40.0% the owner-occupier rate of Germans with a migrant background is notably higher than that of foreigners (28.7%). People without a migrant background live on an average 46.8 square metres (m²), while the corresponding figure for migrants is a mere 33.5 m². 51.0% of those without a migrant background but only 33.4% of migrants live in dwellings of 100 m² and over.

Charts and extensive tables containing the most important census data, some with a detailed regional breakdown, are available for download on the website of the Federal Statistical Office and at www.zensus2011.de.

For further information:
Steffen Seibel,
tel: +49 611 75 3767,
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