Living in Germany

With its location in the heart of Europe, Germany is the seventh biggest European country, boasting the #1 largest economy in Europe and the fourth highest gross domestic product (GDP) in the world ($4.49 trillion USD in 2022).

Germany is also one of the world’s top immigration destinations, with a record 1.2 million immigrants moving to Germany in 2022.

Immigration sent Germany’s population soaring to a record high of 84.3 million residents in 2022 of which 27.2% are immigrants or the children of immigrants.

Why Germany?

Expat workers and other immigrants are moving to Germany for a variety of reasons including:

  • Jobs in Germany – 400,000 skilled foreign workers are needed for jobs in Germany each year.
  • High Quality of Life – Germany was ranked #6 in the world for quality of life in 2022 by US News & World Report.
  • Prosperity – The 2023 Legatum Prosperity Index named Germany the 9th most prosperous country.
  • Peacefulness – The 2022 Global Peace Index rated Germany as the 16th most peaceful country in the world.
  • Stability – Germany is a politically and economically stable country to live in.
  • Freedom – Freedom House gave Germany a 94% rating in 2022 for civil liberties and political rights.
  • Healthcare – Germany has a high-quality public/private healthcare system available to all Germans and legal residents.
  • Education – German education is world-class and students can receive a public university education for free.
  • Start a Business – Germany is one of the best countries for entrepreneurs to start a business in.
  • Beautiful Country – From the Bavarian Alps to the Harz Mountains, Germany is a beautiful place to live.
  • Permanent Residency – Foreign workers and their families can apply for permanent residency after living in Germany 4 years.
  • Citizenship – Legal residents of Germany can apply for German citizenship after living in Germany a total of 5 years.


Germany is located in Central Europe, bordered by Denmark, the North Sea and the Baltic Sea in the north; France, The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg in the west; Switzerland and Austria in the south; and the Czech Republic and Poland in the east.

The country is divided into 16 federal states, each of which exercises a high degree of local autonomy in the German federal system.

In northern Germany, you will find the federal states of:

  • Schleswig-Holstein (capital city is Kiel)
  • Hamburg (capital city is Hamburg)
  • Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (capital city is Schwerin)
  • Lower Saxony (capital city is Hanover)
  • Saxony-Anhalt (capital city is Magdeburg)
  • Berlin (national capital of Germany)
  • Brandenburg (capital city is Potsdam)

The central region of Germany is home to the federal states of:

  • North Rhine-Westphalia (capital city is Düsseldorf)
  • Hesse (capital city is Wiesbaden)
  • Thuringia (capital city is Erfurt)
  • Saxony (capital city is Dresden)

Located in southern Germany are the federal states of:

  • Rhineland-Palatinate (capital city is Mainz)
  • Saarland (capital city is Saarbrücken)
  • Baden-Württemberg (capital city is Stuttgart)
  • Bavaria (capital city is Munich)

The Bavarian Alps in southern Germany and the Harz Mountains in northern Germany are two of the country’s beautiful mountain ranges, while the Zugspitze (elevation 2,962 meters) is the highest peak in Germany.

Several major rivers meander across different parts of Germany, including the Rhine River (865 km), Weser River (452 km), Elbe River (727 km), and Danube River (647 km).

Lake Müritz in the northern German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is the biggest lake that is completely inside Germany, whereas Lake Constance is the largest lake in Germany, but it is also bordered by Austria and Switzerland.

The famous Black Forest in Baden-Württemberg is one of the many scenic forests in Germany where you can go hiking, bicycling and camping.

Northern Germany also has many beautiful beaches along its North Sea and Baltic Sea coasts and islands, including Binz Beach on Rügen Island; Timmendorfer Beach near Lübeck; Westerland Beach on Sylt Island; Ahlbeck Beach near Usedom; and Kuhlungsborn Beach near Rostock.


Germany has the 4th largest economy in the world (after the US, China and Japan), with an annual GDP of $4.49 trillion USD (2022).

Europe’s largest economy is also the world’s third biggest importer and third biggest exporter.

The service sector accounts for about 70.4 percent of Germany’s GDP (2021), while industry makes up 28.9 percent and agriculture is 0.7 percent.

Economic growth in Germany is driven primarily by exports and industry.

In 2021, the Bloomberg Innovation Index listed Germany as the world’s #4 most innovative economy and as such, there is a strong demand in Germany for skilled foreign workers.

The major exports from Germany include vehicles, electronic products, pharmaceuticals, machinery, chemical goods, electrical equipment, metals, transportation equipment, plastic, rubber and food products.

Key imports to Germany include vehicles, auto parts, crude oil, natural gas, pharmaceuticals and broadcasting equipment.

Germany’s main trading partners are the United States, China, France, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Poland, Italy, Austria, Switzerland and Belgium.

Germany has made a commitment to transition to renewable energy (such as wind and solar power), which currently produces around 46 percent of the electrical power used in Germany.

The unemployment rate in Germany is a low 5.5 percent (January 2023) and there are approximately 800,000 jobs in Germany being advertised by employers.

Business sectors with the most jobs in Germany advertised include:

  • Information Technology (IT)
  • Science
  • Healthcare
  • Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Construction
  • Automotive
  • Aerospace
  • Shipbuilding


The average salary in Germany is €49,260 ($53,532 USD) per year, according to the German government (DeStatis, 2022).

According to the German government (DeStatis, 2022), the average yearly salaries for jobs in Germany by various business sectors are:

  • Accommodation and Food Service Activities = €30,468 ($33,110 USD)
  • Administrative and Support Service Activities = €37,272 ($40,504 USD)
  • Agricultural, Forestry and Fishing = €31,308 ($34,023 USD)
  • Arts, Entertainment and Recreation = €43,500 ($47,272 USD)
  • Business Economy = €49,176 ($53,440 USD)
  • Business Services = €48,948 ($52,703 USD)
  • Construction = €41,664 ($45,277 USD)
  • Education = €55,608 ($60,430 USD)
  • Electricity, Gas, Steam and Air Conditioning Supply = €62,160 ($67,550 USD)
  • Financial and Insurance Activities = €67,632 ($73,497 USD)
  • Human Health and Social Work Activities = €48,816 ($53,049 USD)
  • Information and Communication = €66,108 ($71,841 USD)
  • Manufacturing = €51,324 ($55,775 USD)
  • Mining and Quarrying = €52,212 ($56,740 USD)
  • Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities = €61,692 ($67,042 USD)
  • Public Administration, Social and Personal Service Activities = €50,172 ($54,523 USD)
  • Real Estate Activities = €48,024 ($52,188 USD)
  • Transportation and Storage = €39,588 ($43,021 USD)
  • Water Supply = €45,360 ($49,293 USD)
  • Wholesale and Retail Trade; Repair of Motor Vehicles = €46,140 ($50,141 USD)


Please note that these are the average annual salaries for key business sectors in Germany and some workers earn more or less than the average salary, depending on their specific occupation, education, level of employment (entry level, mid-level, senior-level), years of experience, location of employment, or other factors.

NOTE: The EUR/USD exchange rate was as of February 3, 2023.

Cities in Germany

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