Timeline

Society

1955

Strong economic growth leads to a shortage of labour in Germany in the mid-1950s. Recruitment agreements with Italy, Spain, Greece, Turkey, Morocco, Portugal, Tunisia, and Yugoslavia 
follow.
nph/Rust/dpa

1964

The millionth migrant worker, called “Gastarbeiter”, is welcomed to Germany. Recruitment is halted in 1973 with the 
oil crisis. Now around four million foreigners are living in 
Germany.
Ossinger/dpa

1990

Immigration increases rapidly 
in 1990 with the fall of the Iron Curtain and the wars in former Yugoslavia. Moreover, 400,000 people of German origin arrive 
in Germany from Central and Eastern Europe.
Waltraud Grubitzsch/dpa

1997

Alongside migrant workers, 
since the mid-1980s ever more asylum seekers have been 
coming to Germany. From 1997 the Dublin Convention determines responsibilities of the EU states regarding asylum procedures.
Ralph Peters/dpa

2005

The “Microcensus” offers the very first opportunity to survey the migratory background of the population. According to the census, in 2015 every fifth person in Germany has a migratory background.
Waltraud Grubitzsch/dpa

2014

More than 200,000 people 
apply for asylum in Germany in 2014. For the first time, almost half a million more people move to Germany than leave it in the same period.
Armin Weigel/dpa