International statistics How many Germans live abroad?

There are no official figures on the exact number of Germans living abroad. However, some sources provide data which can help to narrow the number down.

The quality of data varies considerably from one source to the next. One reason why it is difficult to gain a clear picture is that many people do not officially deregister when leaving Germany. In addition, other destination countries do not always require registration. Another complicating factor is defining exactly who counts as German: Some surveys record people that were born in Germany, while others record German citizens. Many people living abroad also have dual citizenship, so they are not being recorded as foreign nationals in their country of destination.

Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat)

Offers data by country of birth and citizenship. German nationals who are also nationals of the country of destination are not counted as "Germans abroad" in these statistics.

Territorial coverage: Data for the EU/EFTA states and some other countries.

Eurostat database: Data by citizenship and country of birth

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Offers data by citizenship and country of birth.

Data for the EU/EFTA countries and some large OECD countries such as Japan and the United States.

OECD International Migration Database: Data by citizenship and country of birth.

United Nations (UN)

Offers data by country of origin. If no information on country of birth is available, it is supplemented with data on citizenship.

Data for 123 countries worldwide.

UN Global Migration Database: Data by country of origin -> Data -> [Destination and origin] -> Table 1


Federal Statistical Office (Destatis)

The Federal Statistical Office does not collect data on the number of Germans abroad, but records the annual migration movements between Germany and over 100 countries worldwide.

Genesis database: data by citizenship.

National statistical offices

Data may be available from the national statistical offices for specific countries. The data on population by citizenship is often based on the most recent census, which is generally carried out every 10 years.

The list of national statistical offices can be accessed here.