Germany has officially overtaken the UK and Canada to become the number two destination for permanent immigration, second only to the US. A new OECD report shows that the number of persons permanently immigrating to Germany increased by about 38 percent in 2012, the equivalent of 400,000 people. The report suggests that many of the immigrants came to Germany from other EU countries, those hit hardest by the financial crisis. In 2009, Germany was in eighth place on the annual migration survey.
“Such a strong increase from one year to another has been rarely observed in any major OECD country,” Thomas Leibig, administrator at the OECD migration division, told the Wall Street Journal regarding the 2012 data. “We can clearly speak about a boom of migration to Germany without exaggeration.”
New immigration laws implemented in recent years have made Germany a more attractive destination for those seeking to start a new life. Once, Germany was well known for its strict immigration standards, but now the country boasts one of the most liberal systems in the EU. The strong economy is certainly a factor as well; many immigrants come from other EU countries that were hit hard by the financial crisis and are seeking to find a place in the German job market.
In 2012, there was also a sharp increase in skilled laborers immigrating into Germany. Around 34 percent were classified as “highly educated” by the OECD, up from 30 percent in 2007. For those who are less educated, the comprehensive training and education programs offered by many German companies make Germany and even more desirable destination.