Reuters International

BERLIN (Reuters) - In 2014, the number of people moving from west to east Germany was higher than the other way round for the first time since reunification, according to figures from the Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB).

The figures indicate an end to the trend of negative net migration from former East German states, driven mainly by the growing attractiveness of certain cities in the east.

After reunification in 1990, hundreds of thousands of Germans moved from the east to the west each year hoping to find employment and escape the crumbling economy of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR).

Although more westerners are now settling in the east, newcomers are concentrated to certain cities. Berlin, Dresden and Leipzig have all seen large population gains in recent years according to BiB geographer Bernhard Koeppen.

For the vast majority of former East German municipalities, however, the trend has not reversed and negative net migration and depopulation continue to be a problem.

(Reporting by James Swaden; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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