Projecting the demographic impact of Syrian migration in a rapidly ageing society, Germany


Trends of persistent low fertility and increasing life expectancy have set Germany to undergo rapid population ageing and decline. In the context of the Syrian refugee crisis, immigration has been considered as a key mechanism to combat these demographic outlooks. This study assesses the demographic impact of Syrian migration into Germany. Deterministic and Bayesian probabilistic projection methods are used to determine the contribution of Syrian migrants to aggregate total fertility rate and the likelihood of subsequent population growth. Findings reveal that Syrian migration is projected to increase German period total fertility but not by the required levels to prevent depopulation. Whilst Syrian migration into Germany has been substantial over the past few years, fertile female cohorts are largely underrepresented in the migrant population and so only a moderate net-effect of Syrian migrants on German fertility is forecasted. A solution to Germany’ population decline may thus not be offered through Syrian migration, with depopulation projected to be a likely scenario.

Journal of Geographical Systems
Francisco Rowe
Francisco Rowe
Professor of Population Data Science

My research interests include human mobility and migration; economic geography and spatial inequality; geographic data science.