Whereas the years 2015 and 2016 were marked by strong refugee migration, our analysis of current data from Germany's Central Register of Foreign Nationals shows that migration flows to Germany are normalizing. Indeed, since 2017, more people from other EU states have been coming to Germany, as was the case before 2015/16. In 2017 itself, some 545,000 people arrived from non-EU countries and some 635,000 from other EU countries.
Many of these individuals are skilled workers. More than 60% of immigrants from EU states who reside in Germany have either a university degree or have completed vocational training. Among immigrants from non-EU states, the number of those granted a residence permit as a skilled worker rose to around 38,000. However, this means that the immigration of skilled workers from outside the EU remains limited and accounts for only 7% of total non-EU immigration. In terms of Germany's labor supply, this group comprises only 0.1% of the total 47 million. Labor migration to Germany from non-EU states increased considerably from 2014 to 2016 in comparison to the labor migration rates observed in Australia, France, the Netherlands and Spain for the same time period. In the United Kingdom, Italy and Canada, we see these rates falling. Germany is also by far the most popular destination country for migrants within the context of the EU's freedom of movement regime.
Germany currently has 1.2 million vacancies nationwide. In addition, its baby-boomer generation will head into retirement in the next few years. The migration of skilled workers to Germany will therefore become increasingly important – as will the need to step up training for domestic workers.