“Either I adapt or I leave”: more and more Germans are leaving their country

Some leave at the time of retirement to enjoy the sun in exotic destinations. Others also decide to go abroad for professional reasons. In 2022, 270,000 Germans left their country to settle abroad, the highest figure since 2016.

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In six out of ten cases, these expatriates are men, aged 35 on average, and three out of four are university graduates. While some choose to go into exile to enjoy a better living environment in Portugal or Asia, the majority leave for professional reasons, sometimes tired of the heavy German bureaucracy.

They are simply people who are dissatisfied with the current policy and regulations.“, analysis Jochen Schuppener, who advises candidates for departure in his office near Munich. “With the restrictions the government has imposed on people during the Covid crisis, departures have increased further. If I don’t think I can change the system here, then there are only two possibilities: either I adapt or I leave.“, he continues.

Switzerland, Austria and the United States as a base

Switzerland, Austria and the United States are on the podium of the most popular destinations. For Panu Putvaraadirector of the Migration Department at the IFO economic research institute, “sIf we take the United States and Switzerland, the net incomes are very high and the tax rates much lower. Austria and Switzerland are countries where the same language is spoken. It is therefore very easy to emigrate there“.

This brain drain weighs on the German economy which suffers from a serious shortage of labour. But part of the departures is compensated by immigration and the return of certain Germans after a few years of expatriation.

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