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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.