How many Brits are living in Germany?

Updated Dec 2022

The German Statistics Authority or Statistisches Bundesamt (website in German and English) have released their latest 2021 figures.

According to these figures, there are 168,000 British citizens registered as living in Germany as of 2021.   

The headline figures are the unprecedented number of British citizens that have been given German citizenship since the Brexit referendum.   Since the Brexit referendum in June 2016 over 40,000 British nationals have been granted German citizenship and in total over 73,000 British citizens in Germany are now dual German/British citizens according to the latest published German statistics.  (available also in English)

In 2019, 14600  Brits were granted German citizenship compared to only 622 naturalisations in 2015, illustrating the huge spike in applications as a direct result of the Brexit referendum. 

The full yearly numbers for British citizens receiving German citizenship make that spike very clear:

2013 - 459
2014 - 515
2015 - 622
2016 - 2865
2017 - 7493
2018 - 6640
2019 - 14600
2020 - 4930  
2021 - 4570

These numbers represent an unprecedented migration phenomenon in British German history as well as a significant shift in social and citizen identity for almost half of all British citizens living in Germany; the implications of which are still being lived out and determined today.

Application for dual citizenship for Brits was only possible until the end of the Withdrawal Agreement period, being December 31, 2020 after which British citizens, as non-EU citizens, had to give up their British citizenship to be granted German citizenship.   The new ruling ‘Ampel’ coalition have promised a reform of dual citizenship status in Germany and this may make for a change in the naturalisation rules in the coming years.

For further reading on the impact of Brexit on UK to EU migration and on British lives in Germany, see the published article ‘Brexit, Uncertainty and Migration Decisions’.  Co-Authored by Dr Daniel Auer & Daniel Tetlow

Below some British and International media reports on the numbers: