The population of Germany has increased significantly during 2012. The reason for this is not a sudden baby boom, but a drastic rise in the number of new immigrants.
Germany has become a very attractive destination as the European crisis deepens and at the same time the German economy remains relatively stable with record low unemployment rates.
In 2012 alone the immigration authorities recorded more than 300 000 new entrants. The Federal Bureau of Statistics reported that the total population of the country is 82 million people.
Most of the new immigrants settle in urban areas such as Cologne, Frankfurt and Munich. The population growth in rural areas is very low.
A large part of the current immigration wave consists of well-trained and highly qualified people such as doctors, academics and engineers.
Putting too much emphasis on the qualification of the immigrants is, however nearsighted.
The reason for this is that Germany actually needs more than engineers.
There are a lot of opportunities for people who can work in different skilled trades such as plumbers, machinists and construction personnel.
Immigrants today learn German in the framework of integration courses.
However, as many are looking to work as engineers, scientists, doctors or nurses, the new migrant generation needs specialized language classes, Günter Heinecker of arenalingua language institute told Deutsche Welle.
Another important aspect of the immigration to Germany is visible only at second glance: migration benefits for Germany are a loss for the countries of origin.
Immigrants pay taxes and social security in Germany and thus their homelands suffer not only from brain drain but also from loss of income.
In the long run, that could become a problem for several countries in the south of Europe, where sinking birth rates translate into a shrinking young population.
While these countries at present have fewer unemployed to look after, they are bound to lack workers at a later date to help them get back on their feet economically.
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