Inside Integration and Acculturation – Migrants' Life Satisfaction in Europe

Research question/goal: 

It is planned to analyse which factors influence the subjective quality of life – defined as satisfaction with life – of migrants in Europe and if immigration countries offer good conditions in this regard for some migrants while offering unfavourable ones for others. Life satisfaction is modelled as the outcome of an evaluation of the direct living conditions by the individuals using a distinct standard of evaluation. This standard of evaluation depends, for example, on the cultural imprint, significant others and individual preferences. Therefore, the life satisfaction of population groups can vary, although they might face equal living conditions, due to varying standards of evaluation. The living conditions of migrants, in turn, are influenced by the structural and cultural arrangements of the society: e.g., the welfare state regime or general attitudes towards immigrants. In light of the increasing international competition for skilled personnel this project can help to evaluate the attractiveness of immigration countries more precisely. First of all, internationally comparable data will be used, and in a second step more detailed analyses will be based on appropriate national data sets.

Current stage: 

After the project had been suspended due to Manuel Siegert’s departure, it resumed in September 2015 with Jing Shen taking over the position of a research associate. We continued with the analyses of the cross-national differences in life satisfaction among immigrants using data from the European Social Survey. A study looking at the effects of host-country characteristics – quality of life, immigrant integration regime and level of inequality – on immigrants’ life satisfaction across Europe has been presented at the annual ECSR conference in Tallinn. Further, we started working with the country-specific panel data and are currently engaged in estimating income effects on immigrants’ subjective well-being in Great Britain.

Fact sheet

2010 to 2017
Data Sources: 
secondary data
Geographic Space: 
Germany, Great Britain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Israel and Turkey