material culture, migration and everyday life

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Berlin: Portuguese migrant population with little female representation

According with official statistics, in 2017, Berlin had a population of over 3.5 million, of which a quarter was foreign.

The most represented countries were Turkey (11.4%), Poland (11.4%) and Italy (4.9%). Originating from the European Union countries were 49%  of immigrants, and Portuguese were 1.7% 

Berlin was the fifth German state with the largest EU migrant population and the fourth in terms of the lagest Portuguese population, with 10.2%, – or 14 905 out of the total of 146 810 – of all Portuguese living in Germany.

Portuguese migrants have traditionally settled in the more affluent and cosmopolitan German states of the south-west of the country, whose industrial centres imported most of the Portuguese workforce that arrived in the country during the 1960s and 1970s under the “guest workers” program (Gastarbeiterprogramm).

As for Berlin, the city has seen its Portuguese population grow steadily since the fall of the Berlin Wall and until 2017, when, already in the recovery of the finantial crisis which triggered unemployment in southern Europe, the number of Portuguese migrants tripled. However, while the female population doubled to 3 210, the male population quadrupled to 11 695, causing the female population to represent only 22% of the total number of Portuguese migrants in Berlin. The proportion of migrant women is significantly higher in the total immigrant population and among Germans.

The recent significant increase of the Portuguese population in Berlin, as well as the low representation of the female population, are relevant data in the characterization of the Portuguese population in Berlin. These findings open questions and raise hypotheses to be tested in the course of our investigation.

Kathy Burrell at ICS this week

Germany ID: some emigration and immigration indicators

An estimated 6M left Germany between 1820 and 1920. A large portion immigrated to the USA. As the industrial era brought economic success to the German Empire the number of immigrants to Germany surpassed the number of Germans who left.

Traditional model of recruiting and temporarily employing foreign workers:  Italy (1955), Greece and Spain (1960), Turkey (1961), Morocco (1963), Portugal (1964), Tunisia (1965) and Yugoslavia (1968). Foreign workers were employed primarily as unskilled, semi-skilled laborers in sectors were piecework, shift work. While immigration figures remained modest through the 1980s, the numbers rapidly grew again in the early 1990s.

Different from Portugal, who’s one of the EU countries with fewer immigrants, Germany is the country in Europe with the most amount of immigrants, and the second in the world, only after USA. In 2015, according to United Nations, Germany has an immigration net of 14,5% against a emigration net of 4,9%.

German emigrants are based manly in USA (40%), Switzerland (23%) and UK (21%). Portugal represents just 0,3% of the German outgoing flows in 2015. Despite that, from 2010 to 2015 the estimated number of Germans in Portugal has grown witch might indicated an increasing trend (United Nations, 2015).

Destatis 2017 counted 82.7M people living in Germany. At the same year, the immigration registered 12,9%. Persons born in the Turkey (14%) continued to be the largest group of overseas-born residents, followed by persons born in Poland (8,2%) and Syria (6,6%). Portuguese’s represent 1.4% of the foreign nationals living in Germany with 146 810 persons in 2017, wherein 25% arrived in the last 8 years. (Destatis, 2017).

From de total of 10.6 millions immigrants in Germany, 13% has born in German land although without German citizenship. For instance, 28% of Turks has born in Germany, as well as 24% of Italians and 21% of Serbs. Among Portuguese immigrants, not more than 16% has born at German land.





Dear followers

TRANSITS is spreading a survey to Portuguese citizens residing in Berlin, Sydney and Luanda, and to German, Australian and Angolan citizens residing in Lisbon.

We would like to ask your collaboration for filling and distributing the survey.

Portugueses in Berlin, Sydney and Luanda –

 Angolans in Lisbon –

 Australians in Lisbon –

Germans in Lisbon –

Only complete surveys will be considered valid. Participation is anonymous and data will be handled and used exclusively by researchers of the TRANSITS team.

TRANSITS focuses on present-day bidirectional movements of people and things between Lisbon, Luanda, Berlin and Sydney. The survey seeks to know people under those movements, their trajectories, expectations, migratory projects, and their relationships with the contexts of departure and arrival. Being an innovative research project, it is important that TRANSITS survey reaches as many people as possible in order to be faithfully to people’s lives and voices.

TRANSITS team is available for any further questions or additional information through email:

Thank you for your time!



Australian ID: some emigration and immigration indicators

Historically, more people immigrate to, than emigrate from, Australia. Immigration to modern Australia began in 1788, when the first British colony “Crown of New South Wales” was established. Like Canada, currently Australia became designated as the country of immigration.

Since the end of World War II the Australian population has quadrupled due to immigration incentive programs. Hundreds of thousands of immigrants from all over Europe and the Middle East arrived in Australia. After the abolition of the “White Australia” policy in 1973, which excluded non-European immigration, numerous government initiatives promoted ethnic harmony based on a multicultural policy.

According to the 2016 Census, there were 23.4 million people living in Australia. In 2016, 49% of Australians had either been born overseas (28.5%) or one or both parents had been born overseas and (20.5%). Persons born in the UK (3.9%) continued to be the largest group of overseas-born residents, followed by persons born in New Zealand (2.2%), China (2.2%) and India (1.9%). The 2016 Census counted 15 806 persons who have born in Portugal (0.1%).

In 2015 United Nations estimated 526 579 Australians living outside Australia (2.2%), which indicates that outgoing movements are less relevant than the ingoing’s. Australian emigrants are based manly in UK (26%), EUA (15%) and New Zealand (12%). Portugal represents just 0,3% of the Australian outgoing flows during 21st century.

Angola identity card: some emigration and immigration indicators

According to the UN, Angola would have in 2015 about 555 thousand emigrants residing abroad. The number corresponds to 1.9% of the Angolan population. The same source indicates that the Angolans emigrated especially to the neighbor Democratic Republic of the Congo (33%) and Portugal (27%). If the case of DRC, since long time ago, the populations of the north of Angola circulate between the two sides of a boundary forced by the colonization. With Portugal the historical relations involve different phases and a complex and dynamic colonial past.

Angola has been assuming itself as a regional power in the context of Sub-Saharan Africa. Since 2002, with the end of the civil war, the country has attracted immigrants with different socio-professional, economic and cultural profiles. The UN data have registered the presence of 106,845 immigrants in Angola for the year 2015, equivalent to only 0.4% of the population of the destiny country. In a vast context of globalized migratory flows, they found among the three most represented nationalities: DRC (40%), Portugal (15%) and Cape Verde (10%).

Comparing the countries analyzed in the project (Portugal, Germany, Australia), Angola is the one with the fewest number of entrances and exits of migratory movements.

Conferência Transits:

Who is Portugal in the geography of contemporary migrations?

Like other European countries Portugal has a long history of emigration dating back to the colonial past. Immigration, in turn, is a relatively recent phenomenon. After immigration, beginning in 1974, had overcome emigration for almost three decades there has been a growing migration deficit since the mid-2000s. In other words, at levels that are only parallel to the population movements of the 1960s and 1970s.

According to the UN, Portugal presented na emigration rate of 22.1% against an immigration rate of 8.1%, being the origin of migrations to countries with more stable economies in Europe – the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Germany – and the destination of migrations originating in Cape Verde, Romania and Brazil. Considering the four countries analyzed in the project, Portugal not only has the highest percentage of exits but also distances a lot from the others (4.9%; Australia 2.2%; Angola: 1.9%). The same source indicates that among the total number of portuguese emigrants (2 306 321), 4% lived in Germany (98 464), 1% in Australia (20 044) and 1% in Angola (15 528). UN data indicate the presence of 837,257 immigrants in Portugal, in 2015, among which Angolans represent 18% of the flows (151,273), Germans 3% (26,048) and Australians 0.1% (1 164) only.

Portugal: one of the EU countries with fewer immigrants

Among countries of the European Union (EU 28) Portugal stays at the twenty-first place, with just 3.8% of foreign residents between population (Observatório das Migrações).

In the context of the european crisis of recent years, where effects of economic and labor contractions were more pronounced in Portugal than in many other countries of the EU, Portugal has registered successive decreases in the number of foreigners living in the country. However, from 2015, according to Eurostat values, not only did the number of foreigners resident in Portugal has been growing again (figure 1), as the structure of the ten most representative nationalities has also changed (figure 2).

Gráfico 1: International migrations (permanent movements) from and to Portugal, 2006-2016

Chart elaborated by the project “Transits” based on Eurostat values, Database on Population and Social Conditions, Demography and Migration (pop).

Despite the reduction registered in relation to 2015 (- 1.6%) Brazil has remained the most expressive nationality in 2016, representing 20.4% of the total number of foreign residents in Portugal. After Brazilians, there are the Cape Verdeans (9.2%), the Ukrainians (8.7%), the Romanians (7.7%) and the Chinese (5.7%) which have grown 5.5% compared to the previous year.

Gráfico 2: Top representative nationalities of foreigners residing in Portugal

Chart elaborated by the project “Transits” based on data from SEF.

On the other hand, there have been more and more citizens from European Union countries choosing Portugal to live. The French registered a growth of 33.8% compared to 2015, and in 2016 they were in ninth place (2.8%) ahead of the spanishs (2.8%). In its turn, the United Kingdom was in sixth place (4.9%), with growth of 12.5%, supplanting Angola (4.3%) and Guinea Bissau (3.9%).Acquisitions of portuguese nationals of non-EU citizens are one of the responsible for the registered changes.

Portugal: the country of the European Union with more emigrants around the world.

Human migrations present today new routes and configurations, which contributes to their increasing visibility and diversity. In 2015, the number of international immigrants was 243 million, corresponding to 3.3% of the global population. Although the number of international migrants has increased in the past recent decades, their relative weight on the world population continues to be discrete (from 2.3% to 3.3% between 1965 and 2015).

Portuguese (%) in the top 15 host countries

Map elaborated by the project “Transits” based on data from United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2015).

According to the UN, Portugal would have in 2015 approximately 2.3 million emigrants, who represent 0.9% of the total number of world emigrants for that year. Considering that the weight of the Portuguese population in the world population is 0.14%, Portugal presents a sevenfold increase concerning the number of emigrants. This makes of Portugal the country of the European Union with more emigrants in proportion to its resident population[1]. According to the same source, there are five main host countries that account for 68% of the Portuguese emigrants: France (31%), the USA (17%), Switzerland (9%) and Canada (7%). The remaining 32% are distributed around Spain (5%), the United Kingdom (4%), Germany (4%), Luxembourg (4%), Venezuela (2%), South Africa %), Australia (1%), Netherlands (1%) and Angola (1%).

[1] Considering only the countries with more than one million inhabitants.

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