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Often young people with a migrant background do not enjoy such good opportunities as those without – a situation politicians seek to change
Often young people with a migrant background do not enjoy such good opportunities as those without – a situation politicians seek to change Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images
An increasing number of people in Germany have a migrant background. Many courses are on offer to facilitate their integration into society.

Germany has around 81.2 million ­inhabitants. Some 16.4 million of these are migrants or have parents who come from abroad: in other words more than one in five. Over half of all people with a migrant background hold a German passport. Since 2000, children who have foreign parents and were born in Germany are citizens not only of the country of origin of their parents but are also German citizens if their parents have legally lived in Germany for at least eight years. Since the end of 2014 they no longer have to choose between the two citizenships on reaching the age of majority if they have grown up in Germany. Facilitating dual citizenship is just one example of how Germany endeavours to integrate people from other nations and to recognise cultural diversity. The government promotes equal opportunities, and the General Anti-Discrimination Act aims to prevent ­discrimination. More acceptance for ­migration is important; 15 percent of participants in the Shell Youth Study 2015 agree with this statement, compared to only five percent in 2006.

While considerable progress has been made in integration, there is still room for improvement, for example as regards education and training for young people. Those with a migrant background often have fewer opportunities than their fellow students. Those with poor German reading and writing skills are at a disadvantage when embarking on a career. ­Specifically, over 30 percent of the 20-to-29-year-old foreigners have no ­vocational qualifications. And only 13 percent gain a high school certificate compared with 34 percent of German youth. Language is the key to integration and success. Which is why language evaluation tests and additional coaching begin in kindergartens. Over two thirds of migrants are happy living in Germany. According to the opinion pollsters such as the Allensbach Institute most (58 percent) see themselves as part of German society. Only 5 percent do not feel they ­belong. Over half of migrants would like their children to grow up in Germany. They see their future here.

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