Germany a favourite for long stay British expats

Published:  17 Oct at 6 PM
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Over 100,000 UK expats are settled in Germany, with their numbers steadily increasing since 2011.

A report by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) has revealed a total of 107,000 Britons living in Germany, a 10 per cent increase over the last six years. The data was collected and analysed from an EU report of the latest numbers, and gives an interesting take on British expats’ habits and lifestyles. It seems the British expat community is settled on a longer-term basis than its equivalents in the majority of other European destinations.

According to the 2016 version of the German Central Register for Foreigners, around 64 per cent of Brits have lived in Germany for 10 years or more, with 52 per cent married to a German national without any migrant-based history. Unlike that of France, where most Brits are married to UK citizens, the pattern of immigration to Germany has remained stable since 2011. The majority of UK migrants are found in three major German cities – Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich, with Berlin the most popular.

The differences between the three cities’ UK expat populations are related to sex and age, with British men outnumbering British women. The ONS’s take on the discrepancy is down to the high number of British Armed Forces based in Germany in the years following the Second World War, with a large proportion of expat retirees over the age of 65 living in the former north-west home of the British Army of the Rhine.

British expat numbers don’t include military personnel stationed in the country, but the report states 79 per cent of all British citizens are in work, with one third of the total number employed in support services and admin posts. In contrast, just under 140,000 German nationals are living in the UK under the EU’s freedom of movement laws. The majority are working, with the most popular sectors of education, health and public administration employing some 26,000 Germans.

Just over 60 per cent of Germans working in the UK are higher level professionals earning good salaries and many are married and supporting families. The threat of losing freedom of movement post-Brexit affects both expat communities and is especially worrying for long-term migrants in both countries who’ve put down roots and are raising families.
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