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Foreigners and Turks in Germany

Kottbuser Damm, Berlin-Kreuzberg
Kottbuser Damm, Berlin-Kreuzberg. Photo: flickr/artie*

Fifty years ago the number of foreigners living in Germany was less than 700,000. Today it is 6.7 million. This is 8.2 percent of the total population of 82 million.

Of these 6.7 million foreign residents 1.7 million (one quarter) are Turkish citizens. (see table 1)

The number of German Turks, however, is much higher: besides Turkish citizens it includes naturalised Turks and children of Turkish citizens: this number is today estimated at some 2.7 million (see table 2).

In 1980 the number of Turkish citizens who received German citizenship was only 339. In 1990 it  rose to 2,000;by 1999 it had reached more than 100,000. Today, the total number of Turkish-turned-German citizens is 755,000. (see table 3)

Following the amendment of the German citizenship law in 2000 it is now easier to become a citizen. Children of foreign parents can now obtain German citizenship at birth. This explains the drop in the number of Turkish citizens after 2001.

Table 1: Turkish citizens resident in Germany (2007)[1]

1967

172,439

1970

652,812

1980

1,462,442

1991

1,779,586

2001

1,947,938

2007

1,713,551

 

Table 2: German Turks (2007)

1,713,551
755,000
270,000

2,738,551

 

Turkish citizens resident in Germany (in 2007)
German citizens who were once Turkish citizens (2007)
German citizens with at least one Turkish citizen as a parent [2]

German Turks
Other terms used to describe this group are Deutschlander (Seyran Ates), "people with Turkish migration background", or, in Turkey, Almancı.

 

Table 3: Turkish citizens receiving German citizenship[3]

1980
1990
1999
2000 - 2007

399
2,034
100,324
419,684

 

By 2007 the total number of Turkish citizens who had received German citizenship was 755,139.


[1] German Federal Statistical Office

[2] Gülay Kizilocak, Türken in Deutschland und Deutsche in der Türkei – von Migrationshintergründen und Integrationsproblemen, 2006, p. 75.

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