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Immigration Helps Germany Win—and Not Just at the World Cup

The German men's national team celebrates after the FIFA World Cup final on July 13 at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro
The German men's national team celebrates after the FIFA World Cup final on July 13 at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de JaneiroPhotograph by VI Images via Getty Images

Germany’s triumphant World Cup team included players of Polish, Turkish, African, and Arab descent, showcasing the country’s increasingly multi-ethnic complexion. What’s less well-known is that a record flood of immigrants is also giving a big boost to the German economy. Over the past five years, Germany has surpassed Britain to become Europe’s No. 1 immigration destination as foreign newcomers take jobs that otherwise would go begging.

Germany had a net influx of 437,000 people last year, mainly from other European Union nations, according to a report from economists at Deutsche Bank. The migrants are coming from troubled economies across Europe’s southern rim, as well as from Central and Eastern European nations that once sent workers to countries such as Spain.