Made by migrants

The contribution of migrants in the development of Europe has been significant. Many European cities have more migrants as natives. Here is a look at some cities that owe their social and economic success to migrant communities.


Germany’s fifth largest city has a population of 777,157, more than half of which is of a migrant origin. Frankfurt am Main is home to 397,900 migrants. Immigrant communities, the Chinese in particular, have been central to Frankfurt’s economic development. There are more than 12,000 Chinese living in Frankfurt. The city has long been the focus of Chinese investors. A study by the Sino-German Center for Finance and Economics reports that Chinese investors pumped EUR 17.3 billion into the German economy through investments in the Frankfurt region. Frankfurt is also the preferred location of the regional offices of top Chinese banks. These include the Bank of China and the People’s Bank of China. In all Frankfurt is home to 976 companies and institutes owned and run by the Chinese.


This booming cultural center in Northern Bavaria is an important place for innovation and science in Germany. At the start of 2020 Nuremberg had 273,920 residents with an immigrant background. They made up 47% of the city’ 535,000-strong population. The Nuremberg Economic Region has given the world many recognizable brand names including Adidas, Nestle, and Siemens. As per the Nuremberg Migration statistics an estimated 25% of migrants work with major corporations in and around the city. Foreign workers regularly use trusted services like the Ria Money Transfer App to send remittances to their home countries. According to PayScale estimates the average salary in the Nuremberg Economic Region is EUR 54,000 per year, which is notably better than the German average and the EU average.


The capital city of Belgium houses several international institutions. These include The European Commission and the European Council. The World Population Review estimates that as many as 70% of Brussels’ 2 million residents are of foreign descent. Eric Corijn, cultural philosopher with the VUB (Vrije Universiteit Brussel), remarked how “…immigration (has) changed Brussels,” and how it “went from being Belgian to a small world city.” Turkish and Moroccan communities have a significant presence in Brussels’ political arena. Prominent figures like Zuhal Demir (Kurdish), Nahima Lanjri (Moroccan), and Yasmine Kherbache (Algerian) are Belgium-born citizens of a foreign descent. They have been living and serving in Brussels 10 years or more. The city is the birthplace of the Brussels sprout, and home to 1,800 restaurants serving world cuisine.


The contributions of foreign communities in Swiss history are well known. The second largest Swiss city is home to international organizations such as the UN Human Rights Council and the International Organization for Migration. The CERN (Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire) is also headquartered in Geneva. As per Geneva Communications Statistiques, 137,841 migrants made up 37% of the city’s population in 2019. A 2014 study titled ‘Craftsmen of Geneva Economy’ jointly conducted by the University of Geneva and the Geneva Chamber of Commerce found that the city’s economy relies on foreigners. 81% of workers in the construction sector and 53% of employees in public administration are foreigners. The study also found that the “foreign influence affects fields requiring highly qualified workers.”


As per the latest Norwegian Census nearly 30% of Oslo’s population of 101,400 has a foreign background. There are 312,400 migrants in Oslo. Pakistanis make up the largest migrant ethnic community at 3.67%. They constitute approximately 15% of all medical staff in the city. A 2017 study conducted by the Norwegian Statistics Department found evidence of falling birth rates. The birth rate in Norway stood at 1.7 births per woman. The World Bank has established that a birth rate of 2.1 is necessary for a country to keep its population constant. The Norwegian study points toward the country’s dependence on migrant communities over the past 2 decades to keep its population from declining.

About the author

Hemant G is a contributing writer at Sparkwebs LLC, a Digital and Content Marketing Agency. When he’s not writing, he loves to travel, scuba dive, and watch documentaries.