For the first time, more than half of Frankfurt residents now have a migrant background, according to official data from the city’s Office of Statistics and Elections.Presenting the figures, which show that 51.2 per cent of people living in Frankfurt have a migrant background, the city’s secretary of integration Sylvia Weber said: “We have minorities with relatively large numbers in Frankfurt but no group with a clear majority.”
Representing 13 per cent of the population, Turks are the city’s largest non-German minority, and 61 per cent of residents who were born abroad are citizens of other European Union (EU) countries.
Entitled Frankfurt Integration and Diversity Monitoring, the 200-page report is to provide a basis for the city to respond to inequalities, for example with regards to employment, education, or housing.
Economically, the report shows big disparities between foreigners and Germans, with the income of 49 per cent of people with roots outside Germany falling below the poverty line compared to 23 per cent amongst natives.
In terms of employment rates, 83 per cent of German men and 78 per cent of German women are in work, figures which drop to 73 per cent and 59 per cent amongst men and women with foreign backgrounds, respectively.
Weber hailed the rate of single motherhood amongst women of foreign origin, which the report showed was significantly higher than that of native Germans in the city, as “a possible sign that female migrants are emancipating themselves”, and called for more research into the subject.
A book published last year which predicted native Germans would soon be reduced to a minority in Frankfurt, Augsburg, and Stuttgart — joining other “majority minority” cities in Europe which include Amsterdam, London, Brussels, and Geneva — celebrates the demographic transformations as providing greater opportunities for “social justice”.
Noting that two-thirds of young people in many of Western Europe’s major cities are of foreign origin, the authors of Super-Diversity: A New Perspective on Integration slammed politicians’ calls for newcomers to assimilate, stating: “If there is no longer an ethnic majority group, everyone will have to adapt to everyone else. Diversity will become the new norm.”
Immigration researcher Jens Schneider and his co-authors Maurice Crul and Frans Lelie admit “this will require one of the largest psychological shifts of our time”. But the authors assert that “soon, everyone living in a large European city will belong to an ethnic minority group, just as they do in New York”, a city they describe as a “vibrant metropolitan melting pot”.