Germans Abroad

The article draws on this author’s research on German expats in Hong Kong and Thailand. Both locales, Hong Kong and Thailand, are part of a wider geopolitical unit known as the Asia-Pacific which has evolved to become one of the world’s currently most-attractive regions because of its increasing economic importance. It holds enormous market potential for German companies. At the same time, the region attracts so-called lifestyle migrants who settle there in the hope of a better quality of life. It is thus not surprising that the number of Germans moving to this region has almost quadrupled over the last two decades—from some 4,000 in 1990 to nearly 16,000 in 2010.

Notes on the research method

The processed data regarding German expats in Hong Kong and Thailand underlying most of this policy brief’s discussion was generated by this author’s own fieldwork research in the respective locales - conducted throughout 2010 - and later merged into his dissertation for the degree of doctor, which was awarded to him in 2012. Specifically, the fieldwork research combined a mixture of quantitative and qualitative methods and generated information based on a total of 227 survey questionnaires and 66 individual interviews with both expats as well as experts and representatives of relevant state and non-state organizations.


Thorsten Nieberg


The number of German citizens moving away from Germany has nearly tripled over the last three decades. While in the 1970s there was an annual average of some 50,000 Germans moving away from then West-Germany, this figure continuously went up in the years to follow. Weiter...

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Thorsten Nieberg

Germans Abroad

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Thorsten Nieberg

Characteristics of German Expatriates in Hong Kong and Thailand

In Hong Kong and Thailand there are four characteristic groups of German expats. The biggest group consists of people who match the narrow definition of an expatriate provided above. Weiter...

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Thorsten Nieberg

Human Security

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Thorsten Nieberg

Concerns of German Expatriates in Hong Kong and Thailand

German expatriates in Hong Kong and Thailand have many concerns and needs with regard to their security which derive from the very specific situation in which they live. Weiter...

Thorsten Nieberg

Conclusions: Why the German State Should Deal with the Concerns of its Citizens Who Live Abroad

Having discussed the various issues of concern of German expats in Hong Kong and Thailand, this concluding section devotes itself to address the important question of why governments, like that of Germany, should even care about the needs of their populations abroad and develop respective policies and capacities. Weiter...

Thorsten Nieberg


Here you can find references for the Policy Brief "Germans Abroad - Expatriates in Hong Kong and Thailand" by Thorsten Nieberg. Weiter...




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