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Population with a Migration Background

Since 2005 people are asked for their migration background in the German Microcensus survey. According to the definition of the Federal Statistical Office, "the population group with a migration background consists of all persons who have immigrated into the territory of today's Federal Republic of Germany after 1949, and of all foreigners born in Germany and all persons born in Germany who have at least one parent who immigrated into the country or was born as a foreigner in Germany". In accordance with the relevant legal provisions concerning foreigners, this definition typically covers first to third generation immigrants.

The defined population group is only covered completely at 4-year intervals in the Microcensus with additional questions, last in 2009. Data on the "population with a migration background in the narrower sense" (immigrants and foreigners born in Germany), however, are conducted every year. In 2009 this group made up almost 98% of the whole population with a migration background. The missing 2% are especially due to adult children with a migration background who do not live in the surveyed household anymore.

16.3 million people with a migration background in the narrower sense lived in Germany in 2012. This is 20% of the whole German population. In 2005, this value only amounted to less than 18%.

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© Federal Institute for Population Research - 2018