The Makeshift Berliners

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April 20, 2013 by anelim

As it turns out, I wasn’t insinuating too much when I declared myself a Berliner for 300 days at the start of this blog. We, the makeshift Berliners, are everywhere. We fill the city, we shape its face, we define its interests and in our voice it speaks. Of course, there are some locals born in Berlin, and the even smaller minority of those whose parents and grandparents were also born in Berlin. I’d like to find out how many, but such questions are notoriously hard to estimate and there don’t seem to be even rough estimates easily available (according to Uncle Google, that is. I’m not doing proper research, just blogging, in case you’ve forgotten or in case this is not obvious from the lazy Wikipedia references).

Out of its 3.5 million official inhabitants, Wikipedia claims that in 2010 there were some 900,000 (~27%) “persons with a migrant background”, and altogether there are 190 nationalities in Berlin, spread unevenly across the city:

in the West-Berlin areas of Wedding, Neukölln and Berlin-Gesundbrunnen, foreign nationals and German nationals with a migrant background make up nearly 70% of the population, whereas areas and localities in former East Berlin have much lower percentages. […] Middle Easterners (e.g. Turks, Arabs etc.), Eastern Europeans and smaller numbers of East Asians, Sub-Saharan Africans and other European immigrants form the largest groups. Approximately 70,000 Afro-Germans live in Berlin. Furthermore, there are more than 25 non-indigenous communities and nationalities which have a population of at least 10,000 people such as Turkish, Polish, Russian, Lebanese, Palestinian, Serbian, Italian, Bosnian, Vietnamese, US-American, Romanian, Bulgarian, Chinese, Austrian, Ghanaian, Ukrainian, French, British, Spanish, Israeli, Thai, Iranian, Egyptian, Syrian etc.

Even more interestingly, 50% of all children and teenagers have a “migrant background” (in Neukölln nearly 80%). At least 2 million Berliners speak at least two languages. And, according to Statistics Authority for the Berlin-Brandenburg region (, in 2011 there were 10,000 of us Bulgarians here.

More demograhic info for other geeks out there:

If you happen to know how many Berliners were born in Berlin or something like that, please share a link!


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I will be no longer Berliner in..

July 31, 2013
April 2013
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