Every fifth Austrian has ‘migration background’

Every fifth Austrian has 'migration background'
Foreign and Integration Minister Sebastian Kurz. Photo: APA/GEORG HOCHMUTH
Every fifth Austrian - 19.4 percent of the population - has a migration background, according to a report on integration from Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP).

Among those 1.65 million people are 1.2 million "first generation" immigrants who were born abroad. 428,000 people are "second generation" – i.e. born in Austria to parents from a foreign country.  In Vienna alone, these first and second-generation immigrants approach half of the city's population.

In 2013 151,300 people migrated to Austria, whereas 96,600 people left the country. Thus there was a net immigration of 54,700 people.

57 percent of migrants came from the European Union or the European Economic Area. 17,700 people migrated from Germany to Austria, 14,900 people came from Hungary and 13,500 people from Romania.

The independent expert panel for integration suggested several measures and subsidies for migrated EU citizens whilst presenting the migration and integration report. Once again, experts urged for the provision of better language courses.

Furthermore they called for a reform of the so-called Red-White-Red card, which regulates immigration of non-EU workers under such criteria as professional skills, academic qualifications, training, job experience, age, and knowledge of the German language.

The immigration-regulating card was supposed to counteract the loss of young foreign academics.

Kurz said he would support the proposal to promote more measures for EU citizens, and said there would be no difference in language training whether an immigrant came from an EU country or not.

He also sent a message to Minister of Social Affairs Rudolf Hundstorfer (SPÖ), saying that the Red-White-Red card was "in need of improvement".


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