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: 

We are currently continuing our analyses, focusing on both cross-country differences and country-specific scenarios. Four presentations were delivered at several international conferences (RC28, ECSR and ESS conference). At the cross-country level, a paper on the influence of destination countries on immigrant life satisfaction was granted Revise and Resubmit. At the country-specific level, a paper focusing on the impact of income on immigrants’ life satisfaction in the UK was submitted to a journal. A second one, which is going to be sent out to a journal soon, compares the negative consequences of unemployment for subjective well-being between immigrants and the native-born population in the UK.

Fact sheet

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