The first Albanian immigration wave to Germany began in 1968, they came as guest workers and worked mainly in the industry. They were usually regarded as Yugoslavs and not as Albanians, because they came from Kosovo which belonged that time to Yugoslavia. Due to the political situation in Kosovo came more and more Albanians since the beginning of the 80s.
During the Kosovo war in 1999 were many Kosovo Albanians as asylum seekers in the Federal Republic of Germany. End of 1999, the number of Kosovo Albanians in Germany was about 480,000, about 100,000 have returned voluntarily after the war in their homeland or were forcibly removed.
The number of people with Albanian origin living in Germany is approximately 550,000 most of them originally from Kosovo, 20 126 are mainly from Albania and about 30,000 from Macedonia. Currently the cities with the largest population of Germans with Albanian descent are Berlin, Hamburg, Munich region and the metropolitan region of Stuttgart. In Berlin in 1999 were about 25,000 Albanians, the number dropped because of returnees in their home and population decline of Germany. It is quite hard to know the true number of Albanians in Germany as when they came to Germany they were defined as Yugoslavs or Macedonians. There is a significant number of Albanians from Kosovo and Macedonia living illegally in Germany which makes it even harder to know the true number of Albanians living in Germany. It is estimated that there could be anywhere between 500,000 and 1,000,000 Albanians living in Germany. Germany is the most popular destination for Kosovar Albanians seeking to emigrate to Western Europe.