Germany's immigrant population hits new high in 2016

BERLIN: Official statistics show that the number of people in Germany with an immigrant background rose 8.5 percent last year to a record 18.6 million, powered by the influx of refugees and other migrants in its first few months.

The Federal Statistical Office said Tuesday last year's figure marked the fifth consecutive record. Germany has a population of 82.4 million.

The office defines people with an immigrant background as those who either weren't born as German citizens themselves or have at least one parent who wasn't.

Germany saw a large influx of migrants from the Middle East and elsewhere in 2015 and early 2016. That hurt Chancellor Angela Merkel's popularity for a time but polls indicate her conservatives have recovered ahead of a Sept. 24 election.