Figures released by the government’s statistics agency (Destatis) on Thursday show that more than 2.1 million people migrated to Germany in 2015, an increase of 672,000 or 46 percent on the previous year.
It was also a bumper year for outward migration, with just under one million people packing their bags and saying auf Wiedersehen to the Bundesrepublik, a 9 percent increase on 2014.
Overall Germany received a boost of more than 1.1 million people to its population through migration – a new historical record.
The overwhelming majority (94 percent) of those who moved to Germany were foreigners, rather than Germans moving back home. Of the 998,000 who left Germany in 2015, 859,000 held foreign passports.
Destatis said that it can be safely assumed that the arrival of hundreds of thousands of refugees was the decisive factor in making 2015 a record year, despite the report not including statistics on the type of residency status new arrivals have.
Nonetheless, the largest group of migrants was arrivals from within the EU, with 45 percent coming from the other 27 member states.
Roughly 13 percent came from other European states outside the EU, 30 percent came from the Asian continent, and 5 percent from Africa.
New arrivals from Asia came largely from Syria (298,000, Afghanistan (80,000), Iraq (60,000) and Pakistan (20,000). The largest amount of migrants from within the EU came from Romania (92,000), Croatia (40,000) and Bulgaria (40,000).
All of the sixteen German states experienced overall net inward migration from abroad. But the results were far from evenly spread, with almost three quarters of migrants moving to the five states of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), Bavaria, Hesse, Baden-Württemberg, and Lower Saxony.
NRW had the highest level of net migration at 277,000, followed by Baden-Württemberg at 173,000.
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