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Claudia Diehl (2007)

Social Profile and Immigration Motives of New Immigrants – Evidence from the Microcensus and the Institute's "New Immigrants Survey Pilot Study"*

In: Zeitschrift für Bevölkerungswissenschaft, Vol. 32, 1-2/2007, p. 161-182, Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, ISSN: 0340-2398

The article provides an overview of the socio-demographic characteristics and the immigration motives of foreign immigrants who have only lived in Germany for a few months. First of all, the “new immigrants” of the immigration period 2000 to 2003 are compared using the microcensus with immigrants who have been living in Germany for a longer period. This comparison shows that recent immigrants are younger and better educated than foreigners who have been living in Germany for longer. The high educational level continues with the professional status of new immigrants who are in employment, albeit they are less well integrated into the labour market if the indicator gainful employment or unemployment is used as a reference. The immigration motives of new immigrants are subjected to a more precise view in a second step, using the data of the “New immigrants survey pilot study”. Immigration to Germany remains economically motivated in very many cases, despite fact that the recruitment ban is officially still in place. Almost 40 % of respondents stated that this played a role in their decision to move to Germany. The wish to live with one’s family is expressed almost as frequently as a reason for immigration, being stated both in family reunification and by accompanying family members. Genuinely political motives, by contrast, are relatively rare. As a result of the considerable significance attaching to family-related motivations for immigration, in particular the longterm immigration currently being experienced is presumably in continuity with the immigration processes of the past, albeit the socio-structural composition of the group of new immigrants as a whole is quite different to that of immigrants who have lived in Germany for longer.

* Original title: Sozialprofil und Zuzugsmotive von Neuzuwanderern – Evidenzen aus dem Mikrozensus und der „Neuzuwandererbefragung-Pilotstudie“ des BiB (full text in German only)

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