Albanians in Germany
Map of where the Albanian community (mainly from Kosovo) is concentrated in Germany
|350,000 to 500,000|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Berlin, Stuttgart, Hamburg, Munich|
|Muslim, Christian (Roman Catholic, Albanian Orthodox), Atheist, Irreligious|
|Related ethnic groups|
The first Albanian immigration wave to Germany began in 1968; they moved as guest workers and worked mainly in the industry. Albanian migrants came to Germany as Yugoslavian migrant workers from the recruitment state of Yugoslavia. They were usually regarded as Yugoslavs and not as Albanians, because they came from Kosovo, which at that time belonged to Yugoslavia. Due to the political situation in Kosovo, more and more Albanians arrived since the beginning of the 1980s.
During the Kosovo war in 1999, many Kosovo Albanians sought asylum in the Federal Republic of Germany. By the end of 1999, the number of Kosovo Albanians in Germany was about 480,000, about 100,000 had returned voluntarily after the war in their homeland or been forcibly removed.
In the Kosovo war in 1999, relatively many Kosovo Albanians came to Germany fled from Serbian aggression. In Berlin, about 23,000 Albanians lived in 1999. In 2015, there was another wave of Albanian immigration when tens of thousands of people from the Western Balkans traveled to Germany and applied for asylum. In the first six months of this year, 31,400 people from Kosovo and 22,209 people from Albania sought asylum in Germany, although there was little chance of success. By the end of the year, the numbers increased to 54,762 people from Albania and 37,095 people from Kosovo. In addition to the high unemployment and lack of perspective also targeted disinformation by tour operators and people smugglers is seen as the cause of mass immigration. The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees tried to prevent further Albanians from leaving Germany by advertising and media campaigns. Many left Germany months later voluntarily, while others were deported and were banned from entering the Schengen area.
According to German Mikrozensus data there were 323.000 migrants from Kosovo and 70.000 foreigners with Albanian nationality living in Germany at the end of 2015. There are also Albanians among the migrants from the Republic of Macedonia in Germany. But official data say nothing about the ethnic background. Currently, the cities with the largest population of Germans of Albanian descent are the metropolitan regions of Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Stuttgart. In Berlin in 1999, there were about 25,000 Albanians, the number dropped because of remigration and Germany's general population decline. It is quite hard to know the true number of Albanians in Germany, as they were defined as Yugoslavs or Macedonians when they came to Germany. There is also a significant number of Albanians from Kosovo and Macedonia living in Germany illegally. So an exact number of the population with Albanian descent in the Federal Republic of Germany can hardly bei given. Germany is the most popular destination for Kosovar Albanians seeking to emigrate to Western Europe.