German population rises as immigration debate rages
BERLIN (AFP) - Germany saw a boost to its population last year due to the biggest influx of immigrants in two decades, mainly from Europe's crisis-hit countries, according to official estimates published on Wednesday.
The announcement came as the German cabinet debated whether the country needed new measures to grapple with immigration from poor EU member states Romania and Bulgaria following the lifting of work restrictions from Jan 1.
The figures released by the federal statistics office Destatis showed that the number of people living in Germany had surged to 80.8 million in 2013 from 80.5 million - the third annual increase in a row.
"Once again, the high level of positive net immigration offset a lack of births," Destatis said in a statement.