In Hamburg’s general education schools, of the around 257,000 children in the 2020/2021 school year, 51.4 percent had a migration background. While the demographic transformation in Hamburg is significant, the rest of Germany is also undergoing the same transformation, albeit at a slower rate.
The birth rate in Germany has remained constant for years. On average, women currently give birth to 1.53 children. This puts Germany pretty much in the middle of the EU range. The population is considered to be able to reproduce when the birth rate is at least 2.1.
“A country with children is a country with a future,” said former Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl (CDU).
That Germany is far from where it was when Kohl held power. What has changed significantly since then is the ethnic composition of the children and thus future tax base of Germany, which is evidenced by the number of students under 18 with a migration background. German news outlet Junge Freiheit requested data on the demographics of school-age children from federal states and in most cases received the latest figures.
It is noticeable that in some federal states young Germans without foreign roots only form a narrow majority. In Hamburg’s general education schools, the ratio has already turned against them. Of the around 257,000 children in the 2020/2021 school year, 51.4 percent had a migration background. According to the definition of most federal states, this is the case if a student was born abroad, one of his parents was not born in Germany, the child has foreign citizenship, or if a “non-German language of origin” is spoken at home.
In North Rhine-Westphalian secondary schools, the value is more than 60 percent.
In Bremen, 44.8 percent of children and adolescents in general education schools had an immigrant background. As in most other federal states, the proportion of vocational schools was significantly lower at 31.9 percent. In the most populous federal state, North Rhine-Westphalia, the total was 39.3 percent. However, if one looks at the individual types of school, there are considerable differences.
The quota of students with foreign ancestry at secondary schools was 62.5 percent, followed by comprehensive schools (45.8 percent). In elementary schools, this proportion was 44.9 percent. In contrast, children and young people with foreign roots at grammar schools in the western federal state made up less than a third.
Just behind North Rhine-Westphalia, Berlin follows in the ranking with the largest proportion of students with an immigrant background. In the capital, the value for general schools was 39.3 percent and for vocational schools 28 percent. In Hesse, 38.2 percent of the children and adolescents in general education schools had foreign roots.
Three federal states do not record such data
In Schleswig-Holstein in the past school year, 30 percent of the 290,400 children and young people who attended elementary, regional, and community schools or grammar schools had foreign roots. At 13 percent, the value was significantly lower at vocational schools.
Baden-Württemberg ranks seventh. Of the approximately 1,100,000 pupils in general education schools, 27.2 percent had foreign ancestors. The value at vocational schools was similarly high. For Bavaria, the figures for the previous school year were not yet available.
The quota of students with a migration background in Rhineland-Palatinate is at a similar level. In 2020/2021 this was just over 23 percent in general and 16.4 percent in vocational schools. In the two remaining Western German states of Lower Saxony and Saarland, the migration background at schools is not reported.
A spokeswoman for the state statistics office in Lower Saxony told Junge Freiheit that although the feature of migration background has been present in the relevant data systems for several years, the values have not yet been verifiable. This would mean that they would not meet the qualitative requirements.
However, this should change soon. In Saarland, a distinction is only made between German and foreign students. Last year, the share of non-German children and young people in general education schools there was 15.1 percent.
As expected, the number of students with an immigrant background in the eastern federal states is significantly lower than that of those without a corresponding characteristic. The value is lowest in Brandenburg. Of the almost 295,000 children and young people in general and vocational schools, 7.1 percent had foreign roots in the past year. In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, this value was 7.4 percent at general schools and 8.7 percent at vocational institutions.
It was followed by Thuringia, where this rate for all school types combined was eight percent. In Saxony, the proportion of students with a migration background in general education schools was 10.9 percent and in vocational schools 7.3 percent. The state statistics office in Saxony-Anhalt announced that the state does not distinguish between students with and without an immigrant background, but only between German and non-German. 6.3 percent of the not quite 200,000 children and young people in general education schools were therefore foreigners. In vocational schools, the proportion was slightly higher at 7.1 percent.
Germany is not the only Western country featuring dramatic demographic changes. In the United States, Whites now make up a minority of those under 18 years of age. White people in general only make up 57 percent of the US population, down from over 90 percent in the 1960s.
Title image: Migrant children sit on a bench and flash the victory sign as they wait for the visit of German President Joachim Gauck in Bergisch Gladbach, western Germany, Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)