As far as people with higher degrees are concerned, migration is a net-sum gain for Germany and a safeguard against “brain drain.”
The Office for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has calculated that in the five-year period leading up to 2015-16 225,000 German university graduates left the country. They were offset, however, by 610,000 foreign university graduates who moved here.
“At the conclusion point of our study, more than 1.4 million highly qualified emigrants lived abroad while Germany counted 2.6 million highly qualified foreign-born immigrants among its populace,” said OECD migration expert Thomas Liebig at the end of last year when the study was published.
The OECD says that Germany is the second-most popular country for immigrants after the US. And those arriving here are increasing searching for work and not asylum. After peaks in 2015 and 2016 because of the humanitarian crises in places like Syria, the OECD found that requests for asylum in Germany declined last year by 18.3 percent to 162,000.