With over half a million inhabitants, Dresden is one of the two largest urban centers in East Germany. It is also one of the most visited cities in the country, with almost four and a half million overnight tourist stays per year. As the state capital, Dresden is the seat of many internationally renowned cultural institutions , such as the Staatsschauspiel, Semper Opera and the German Hygiene Museum, as well as the various museums and galleries of the Dresden State Art Collections. All of these institutions are active participants in the public discourse on migration and diversity – a discourse that, for a long time, was nationally dominated by the Pegida movement from Dresden.
Only around 10 percent of Dresden's inhabitants have a so-called “migration background”. However, the growth rate of this population segment, which is also at 10 percent, is comparable to that of many West German cities. Saxony is one of the fastest-growing regions in Germany – albeit with a significant urban-rural gap: While post-reunification structural changes have progressed far in urban areas, many of its rural parts are still affected by high unemployment and an aging population due to youth emigration. In addition, the state of Saxony is one of the strongholds of right-wing extremism.