One-in-two German citizens is against increased migration, according to new study

Half of the German population believes the country cannot accept more refugees because it has reached its limit, according to a new study by the Bertelsmann Foundation. Before the 2015 migrant crisis, 40% of Germans were against increasing migration.

The study, titled “Welcome culture: Between skepticism and pragmatism“, was published on 29 August 2019. It studied the sentiments of over 2,000 Germans towards immigrants and refugees, and its results were compared with those done over seven years.

The most common concern (71%) among Germans was that migrants place increasing burden on social security systems. Two-thirds of those interviewed said there is a risk of conflict between migrants and Germans.

Young people had a more positive perception of migration, believing it would have a smaller impact on welfare and housing than the older population. “This is also because the proportion of people with a migration background is around 30% among 15- to 30-year-olds, while it is around 20% among older people,” the study said. Contact with migrants is much more a part of everyday life for younger people.

Education also seemed to play a role in shaping the German attitudes of migrants. “People with lower education levels often work in professions with lower incomes. This quickly gives rise to concerns that increased migration will bring the wages down,” said Orkan Kösemen, one of the authors.

According to Eurostat, the proportion of foreigners in Germany has increased by 62% in the last 10 years. Since the migrant crisis in 2015, Germany has welcomed more migrants than any other EU countries, with nearly 1.9 million foreigners in 2015-16.

Germany is facing an ageing population, and companies are short of young talent.  In response, the country passed a new law on immigration of skilled workers that will come into force at the start of 2020.

TMP – 27/09/2019

Photo credit: kaprik /

Photo caption: BERLIN, GERMANY – DEC 1, 2018: Anti-immigration demonstration, The Brandenburg Gate, Berlin, Germany