Majority of British expats in Germany have lived there over a decade

by Ray Clancy on October 6, 2017

Overall some 107,000 British citizens were living in Germany in 2016, not including military personnel, a rise of 10% since 2011, according to the latest figures to be published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in the UK.

The official figures give an insight into where they go to work, how long they have lived in the country and what jobs they tend to do. The majority, some 64%, have lived in Germany for over 10 years and they are most likely to live in Berlin, Munich of Frankfurt.

Berlin Skyline


Some 79% of British citizens living in Germany were working and 27% of them (almost 17,000 people) work in administration and support services, more than any other industry.

More Germans live in the UK, with 139,700 Germans between 2014 and 2016, the figures also show and 32%, around 26,000, of them work in public administration, education and health with 61% in higher level professions.

In the UK the largest increase in British people moving to Germany were retired people in the 65 to 70 age group with an estimated additional 2,500 British citizens in this age group living in Germany in 2016.

The largest decrease was in those aged 40 to 45 with 2,100 fewer British citizens in this age group. The ONS report says that the ageing of the existing resident population has contributed to this, in addition to migration between 2011 and 2016.

Military personnel and their family members are not counted in the data. However, according to the Ministry of Defence there were 6,800 military personnel, mostly from the army, stationed in Germany in 2016.

The 2016 German Central Register for Foreigners (CRF) estimates that the majority of British citizens, some 64%, have been living in Germany for at least 10 years.

There is other evidence to suggest that there is a proportion of the British population in Germany that is very settled. Some 52% of adult British citizens living in Germany are married, and the majority are married to a someone who was born in Germany or whose parents were born in Germany.

This is in contrast to the pattern seen amongst British citizens living in France, for example, where 63% are married to or living with other British citizens.

Most British expats live in Berlin, some 12%, while 11% live in or near Munich and 9% in Frankfurt or the surrounding region. Munich is known for its industry and commerce while Frankfurt attracts expats working in banking and finance.

When it comes to Germans living in the UK, the vast majority, 92% live in England with 5% in Scotland and the rest in Wales and Northern Ireland.

Some 32 of working age German expats in the UK work public administration, education and health and 28% working in banking and finance. Overall some 61% of German citizens were working in higher level professions such as managers, directors and senior officials.

This is a similar proportion to French citizens at 65% in the UK, and compares with 44% of the UK workforce as a whole, and 48% of Spanish citizens in the UK.

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