Net migration to Germany more than halved last year, says stats office

People stroll downtown in Munich

(Reuters) - Net migration to Germany more than halved in 2023 compared with the year before, which marked a record high, due to fewer people coming from Ukraine, the statistics office said on Thursday.

The office said 663,000 more migrants arrived in Germany than left last year. In 2022, Germany saw the highest migration surplus since the time series began in 1950, standing at 1.46 million, mainly due to a large number of refugees from Ukraine.

In a longer-term comparison, net immigration in 2023 "remained at a high level" despite the significant decline, said the office. It was only exceeded in 2022, 2015 and 1992.

Last year, the number of people coming from Ukraine declined by 75% to 276,000 people, while arrivals from Turkey, a country with a history of migration to Germany dating to the 1960s, more than doubled year-on-year to 126,000 people, it added.

Data from the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) show that almost 6 million people left Ukraine for another European country after Russia started its invasion in February 2022.

(Reporting by Paolo Laudani and Rene Wagner; Editing by Miranda Murray)