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21 Jun, 2023 13:41

Ukrainians become second-largest migrant group in Germany

An influx of refugees led to a 1.3% increase in the country’s population last year, the federal statistics service has reported
Ukrainians become second-largest migrant group in Germany

The population of Germany surged by a whopping 1,122,000 people in 2022, which constitutes a 1.3% annual growth, the federal statistics service, Destatis, has reported. The increase was mainly due to the large number of refugees from Ukraine.

Destatis recorded 0.1% growth in the previous year, the statement released on Tuesday noted. Immigration to Germany stood at 1,455,000 people last year, compared to 329,000 in 2021. The nation’s total population reached 84.4 million by the end of 2022.

Ukrainians have become the second-largest non-citizen group in the EU nation, Destatis said. Of the 12.3 million foreigners living in Germany, the largest diaspora is Turkish, which totals 1.34 million. There were 1.05 million Ukrainian residents by the end of last year, reflecting a sixfold annual increase. Syrians are the third-largest category of foreign nationals, standing at 883,000 people.

Immigration has somewhat changed the age structure of German society, with the share of people under 20 increasing by 2.8%, according to the report. The number of German citizens of the same age group fell by 0.3% over the same period.

The influx of Ukrainians has produced certain tensions, as noted by national media outlets, some of which have questioned the low rate of employment among Ukrainian refugees in Germany compared to other EU countries.

A report by the newspaper Welt am Sonntag last week suggested that one of the factors is the generous unemployment benefits they can apply for while working ‘under the table’ or not at all. There is also the government policy of teaching migrants to speak German before encouraging them to join the labor force, and expectations by Ukrainians to have better jobs than what they are offered.

“Ukrainians are not like your Arab refugees. Ukrainians had normal jobs at home, and they don’t want to just clean floors for twelve euros an hour,” one of the female refugees interviewed by the newspaper explained.