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Migration to Germany and Labour Market Performances of Migrants in Germany

Written by Anonymous

Grade 2,3

Paper category

Bachelor Thesis






Bachelor Thesis: Migration to Germany in the last two decades I examine data regarding the time span between 1998 and 2016. In 1998, Germany ́s population amounted to 82.06 million inhabitants, and fluctuated around that number between 1999 and 2009; in 2010 and 2011, net outmigration led to a shrunk population of 80.22 million people in 2012. Afterwards, the population increased again to 82.18 million in 2016. While the population remained stable on aggregate over the past two decades, the share of residents with German citizenship did not. In 1998, around 91.02 percent of the 82.06 million residents possessed German citizenship, which decreased by 1.5 percent to 89.47 percent of 82.18 million inhabitants in 2016 (Eurostat 2017a). During the time span, a considerable share of eligible foreign citizens seized the opportunity to acquire German citizenship, since the naturalization law had been amended in 1999 to facilitate the process (Trends in International Migration 2000 2001). On the other side, the population of foreigners in Germany amounted to 7.31 million in 1998 and remained quite stable above seven million until 2011 when it dropped by around a million to 6.11 million; afterwards, it displayed strong increases to 6.64 million in 2013 and 8.65 million in 2016 (Eurostat 2017a). Throughout most of the 2000s, declining net migration and naturalization lowered the foreign population. However, after 2011, it strongly grew again. In 1992, Germany constituted the EU together with fourteen other member countries. Of those fourteen, there were multiple sizeable migrant cohorts residing in Germany, in particular Greeks, Italians, Portuguese and Spaniards (GIPS-countries) and Austrians; nationals from the Benelux countries, British and French nationals. The four latter named cohorts of foreign nationals in Germany did not change significantly in the last 20 years, so I exclude them. Historically, most of the GIPS-citizens had come to Germany decades earlier in the course of the “Gastarbeiter” program of the late 1950s and 1960s (Hönekopp 1997). In 1998, their population amounted to roughly 1.25 million citizens. It remained at around 1.24 million until 2002, declined to 1.09 million in 2005 and recovered to 1.12 million in 2008; amidst the economic crisis, the number decreased to around 950.000 in 2012, dropping by more than 23 percent compared to 1998. After 2012, the figure rebounded, to 1.06 million in 2014 and 1.14 million in 2016, which makes up a 20 percent increase compared to five years before (Eurostat 2017a). The trajectories of the cohorts of the individual GIPS-countries have been comparable to each other. While the GIPS-citizens amounted to more than sixteen percent of the foreign population in 1998, that share is at below fourteen percent today. Regarding 1998, the population of EU-15 citizens amounted to 1.85 million. That figure almost stayed constant until 2004, before it dropped to 1.66 in 2005. Afterwards, it fluctuated around 1.7 million until 2011, when it plunged to 1.48 million, a decline of almost 20 percent. Since then, it has grown again, with 1.76 million in 2016, almost 19 percent more than 2011, but still less than at the end of the 1990s (Eurostat 2017a). From 1998 until 2004, the foreign population barely changed in numbers. In 2004, the EU integrated ten new countries into the Union. Most of the NMS were located in Eastern Europe: The Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. Of course, citizens from the NMS lived in Germany even before the EU expanded: In 1998, 399.526 of them lived in Germany, with most of them being Polish (Eurostat 2017a). The cohort grew considerably from 1998 until 2004, by around 20 percent, to 481.998. However, it shrunk after the first year of the EU-enlargement and surpassed the level of 2004 only in 2007. By 2009, it had surpassed 600.000, only to fall sharply afterwards. After 2011, migration to Germany from the NMS picked up considerably, to 890.650 foreign nationals in 2014 and more than a million in 2016, with an increase of more than 60 percent compared to 2012 (Eurostat 2017a). Since the EU expanded in 2004, foreign nationals of the NMS of 2004 have more than doubled in Germany. Distinguishing between the ten countries, mainly Polish nationals came to Germany between 2005 and 2010; the other cohorts increased all as well, but more moderately. After 2011, not only did more Polish nationals migrate to Germany, but also notably Hungarians, Czechs, Lithuanians and Slovakians (Eurostat 2017a). With Bulgaria and Romania (EU-2) joining in 2007, the EU expanded further. In 1998, around 130.000 EU-2 citizens lived in Germany. The sum did not change much until 2005, when it dropped by more than 20.000. From 2007 onwards, which was the year of their EU accession, the numbers increased sizeably, from 120.399 in 2007 to 178.468 in 2010 (Eurostat 2017a). After that, however, the velocity of migration from Romania and Bulgaria to Germany increased even further, with 254.901 citizens from there living in Germany in 2012. The number almost doubled again, to 407.734 in 2014, and saw other steep increases in both 2015 and 2016, to 672.975 persons. Within ten years, their population in Germany has risen by almost 559 percent, and more than doubled between 2012 and 2016(Eurostat 2017a). The last expansion of the EU occurred in 2013, when Croatia joined. Back in 1998, more than 200.000 Croatians already resided in Germany due to the Balkan wars and subsequent asylum applications in Germany (Thesis Trends in International Migration 1997 1997). The Croatian population in Germany expanded to 236.000 residents until 2004, and remained at comparable levels until 2010 before falling until 2013. That year, Croatia joined the EU, and migration to Germany grew. By 2016, 283.343 Croatians lived in Germany, a growth of 33,87 percent compared to 2012, but only a slight increase compared to 1998 (Eurostat 2017a). All in all, there has been a lot of net migration from present-time EU-28 citizens to Germany in the last two decades. In 1998, around 2.59 million citizens of EU-28 citizenship resided there, increasing to about 2.72 million in 2004. Migration of Extra-EU-28 countries, which can be sorted by various regions, needs to be examined as well. First, Turkish citizens need to be mentioned. Turkey belonged to the most prominent “Gastarbeiter” countries, sending a lot of low skilled labour. At the end of the 1990s, more than two million Turkish citizens lived in Germany, by far the most sizeable national group of migrants (Eurostat 2017a). Over the past two decades, that number decreased, to 1.35 million in 2016 (Eurostat 2017a). Explaining the decline at least partially is the fact that no other group of citizens used the opportunity of naturalization as frequently as Turkish citizens. In 2000 and 2002 combined, more than 140.000 Turkish nationals obtained German citizenship countries, such as Serbia or Russia. Their net migration trend was similar to other cohorts: After increasing throughout the 2000s from 450.000 in 1998, the population decreased from 2010 to 2012, only to increase more strongly afterwards, to 840.000 in 2016 (Eurostat 2017a). Aside from Europe, other regions of the world form sizeable cohorts of migrants in Germany as well. More than 300.000 Africans lived in Germany in 1998, which had slightly increased by 2004. After falling in 2005 and 2006, it rebounded to around 290.000 in 2010. By 2012, the number had fallen by 50.000, before increasing strongly in the following years, mimicking the general migration trend to Germany. In 2015 and 2016, it surpassed 300.000 and 400.000, respectively (Eurostat 2017a). Traditionally, a sizeable share of the Africans in Germany has been from Morocco and Tunisia due to their participation in the “Gastarbeiter” program. However, citizens from Western Africa and Eastern Africa have increased in numbers since 2011 as well, after Bachelor Thesis decreasing prior to that. Extraordinarily increases in population were experienced for Somalis and Eritreans, whose combined number rose by 520 percent compared to 2012 (Bachelor thesis, eurostat 2017a), with many of the arrivals asking for asylum. While the numbers for African migrants in Germany are small compared to other cohorts, they have shown rapid growth in relative terms in the last years after slightly dropping between 1998 and 2010. After dropping more strongly until 2012, they have risen by almost exactly two thirds since (Eurostat 2017a). Labour force participation rates in the German labour market The term labour force participation rate is defined as the percentage rate of the working age population that is either employed or unemployed; that is, either working or actively seeking for work (Bureau of Labor Statistics 2017). For Germany as an entire country, the labour force participation rate has increased significantly over the last 20 years. In 1997, it stood at only 70,6 percent. After growing slowly to 73.8 percent in 2008, quicker growth until 2011 propelled the rate to 77,3 percent. It kept increasing at moderate peace 77.7 percent in 2014 and 77.9 percent in 2016, which reflects an increase of 7.2 percent compared to 1997 (Eurostat 2017c). German citizens had a higher participation rate already back in 1997, with 71.3 percent. It remained higher than for the entire population, and grew to 77 percent in 2008. After hitting 78.2 percent in 2011, it reached 78.8 percent in 2014 and 79.6 percent in 2016. The increase was mainly driven by more female inclusion in the labour market. While male participation rates already converged on 80 percent in 1997 and only increased by three percent until 2016, female participation jumped from 63.1 percent in 1997 to 71.1 percent in 2007 and 75.8 percent. EU-15 citizens stood at slightly higher levels compared to Germany ́s entire working age population and German citizens in 1997, at 75.4 percent. It increased to 76.5 percent by 2006. The following three years, it slightly decreased to 76 percent in 2009. Afterwards, it only trended upwards, to 78.1 percent in 2012 and 79.8 percent in 2016 (Eurostat 2017c). As mentioned in the previous section, there was quite strong net migration of EU-15 citizens between 2011 and 2016 and it coincided with clear increases in labour market participation rates, implying that the entering migrants in many cases quickly competed in the labour market. While the male participation rate for EU-15 citizens has been higher than that of German males, the gender gap is also more pronounced, meaning that fewer women from EU-15 countries compete in the labour market compared to Germans. For EU-28 citizens, data is available since 2006, when the overall participation rate amounted to 74.8 percent, which remained similar until 2010 with 75.1 percent then. Afterwards, it gradually increased, to 77,3 percent in 2012 and more than 80 percent in 2016. Similar to EU- 15 citizens, EU-28 citizens in 2006 presented a very high male participation rate of more than 83 percent. After decreasing slightly to 82.5 percent in 2009, it hit much higher levels afterwards, with 87 and 87.6 percent in 2014 and 2016, higher than for the compared cohorts (Eurostat 2017c). This implies that male citizens from the NMS have been active even more in the labour market than male citizens from the old member states of the EU. The gender gap, however, is even larger than for EU-15 citizens, hinting at a stronger difference between male and female labour market activity in the NMS. Extra-EU-28 citizens presented a labour market participation rate of 61.3 percent in 2006, far lower than any EU-cohort or German citizens. The highest mark was reached in 2011 and 2012 with 63.4 percent, before falling afterwards, to 61.6 percent in 2015. In 2016, it decreased strongly to 58.5 percent. Even before that happened, Extra-EU-28 citizens had not made up ground compared to Germans and EU-citizens regarding labour market participation rates (Eurostat 2017c). For Extra-EU-28 citizens, the gender gap is even more pronounced than for EU-citizens. It was at almost 30 percent in 2006, before slowly decreasing to its lowest mark of To sum up, Germans citizens do not display the highest labour market participation rates, but the gender gap has diminished the most with them. EU-15 and EU-28 citizens have an even higher labour market participation rate, notably for males, while females from those cohorts do not participate as much as Germans do. Contrarily, Extra-EU-28 citizens participate far less in the labour market, on aggregate and for both genders; however, female participation is noticeably low compared to other cohorts. Read Less