More Germans left the country in 2007 than in any year since reunification in 1990, despite an economic upswing, figures from the Federal Statistics Office showed on Monday.
The figures showed 165,180 German citizens migrated elsewhere last year, an increase of nearly 10,000 from 2006, with Switzerland, the United States, Poland and Austria the top destinations.
A total of 111,291 Germans returned from abroad, resulting in a net loss of 53,889 citizens in 2007, the third straight year in which more Germans have left the country than returned.
Both the total number of departing Germans and the net loss of German citizens were the highest since reunification and far above annual levels seen in post-war West Germany.
The latest numbers seem certain to add to concerns that Germany is headed towards a demographic crisis -- some experts fear Germany's shrinking and ageing population will cripple Europe's largest economy in coming decades.
The Statistics Office provided no reasons for the record figures, which came against the backdrop of Germany's strongest burst of economic activity since a post-reunification boom.
Because a net total of 101,691 foreigners moved to Germany in 2007, there was a net gain from migration of 47,802.
However that figure, plus the 690,000 births seen in Germany last year -- the first baby increase in a decade -- were not enough to offset the estimated 825,000 deaths in 2007, meaning Germany's overall population shrank for a fifth straight year.
Studies have forecast Germany's population could fall to as low as 69 million in 2050 from more than 82 million today.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 19 Mayıs 2008, 18:00