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The earliest mention of the Bavarians - Baiern or Baiovarii - dates from the year 551. They were the result of the intermixture of a number of different peoples: Romans, Alemannians, Ostrogoths, Franks, Langobards, Thuringians, Northern Germans and also tribes from Southern Bohemia.

Today over one million of Bavaria's overall population of 12 million are foreigners. Around one third of them come from states in the European Union, primarily Italy, Austria and Greece. A majority of the non-EU foreigners comes from Turkey.