1.5.2010 | Von:
Susanne Worb

Six Approaches

3) How many indicators are used?

With the exception of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, all forms of monitoring work with pre-defined indicator sets. Two basic tendencies can be identified here:
  • There is an attempt to keep the number of indicators manageable, or, if necessary, to reduce them. Thus, for example, in essence only 15 indicators are used for the Berlin Institute study. The federal states working group is accordingly of the opinion that "the listing of a large number of key figures and indicators without a secure data base [...] should be expressly avoided" [3].
  • In both cases without pre-defined indicator sets, a comprehensive range of observations are made on a given theme based on various data sources. Thus, for example, the subject of vocational training is dealt with in the context of the BAMF "Integration report" both on the basis of official statistics on vocational education and university degrees and by means of microcensus and other survey data [4].

4) Which dimensions are covered?

A frequently used, four-dimensional integration model distinguishes between structural integration (acquisition of positions and rights), cultural integration (acquisition of knowledge and skills), social integration (formation of interethnic networks and relations) and identificational integration (development of feelings of belonging) [5]. In two approaches (Wiesbaden and BAMF) these dimensions are broken down into subsections, while the remaining forms of monitoring work at this classification level from the outset.

In terms of content, it is clear that all forms of monitoring focus on structural aspects of integration, which is linked to the relatively good availability of data in this area. Details on migrants´ legal status and period of residence, citizenship, naturalisation, education, training and participation in the labour market are included in just about every approach, as are data relating to income and the risk of poverty. The inclusion of additional areas depends on the approach. Where cultural or identificational integration in particular are concerned, however, there are often difficulties in finding and interpreting suitable indicators. Wiesbaden offers an interesting example here, once again. Under "cultural integration" its monitoring reveals the annual total fertility rate of foreign and German women. Over the course of time from 2000 to 2007 a downward trend is detectable among the former (from 1.81 to 1.67), while there is an upward trend among the latter (from 1.24 to 1.33) [6]. Whether this can be interpreted as "value convergence" as the relevant title in the monitoring report suggests, or whether other factors play a role here is, however, hard to say.

5) Where does the data come from?

Three types of data are used:
  • the microcensus is an important data source for all the presented approaches with the exception of Wiesbaden; in the case of the Berlin Institute it is even the only source. This sample-based survey primarily gathers data on structural integration, such as educational qualifications and also on areas such as housing and health.
  • another source is official and administrative data. Examples of this are unemployment figures from the German Federal Employment Agency or police crime statistics. To date, they mostly only distinguish according to nationality. On the other hand, they do, as a rule, concern full surveys and not just random samples.
  • use is also made of surveys conducted during empirical social research; such surveys inquire in particular into "soft" integration-related facts. At the federal level, the German Socio-economic Panel [7] must be mentioned as an important source of this type and contains, for example, data on the migrants' subjective assessment of their state of health and on their political involvement.
Measurement and reference groups plus depth of the analysis of selected monitoring systemsMeasurement and reference groups plus depth of the analysis of selected monitoring systems Lizenz: cc by-nc-nd/2.0/de (bpb)
The variety of data sources should be regarded in principle as positive, since official statistics in particular cannot cover all aspects of relevance to integration and therefore need to be complemented by empirical social research. There are, however, also problems resulting from different survey concepts with the outcome that there is a lack of comparability among the different sources. To counteract this, attempts have been made to include the category "Migration background" in official and administrative data. This concerns, for example, the above-mentioned data on unemployment.

6) Whose integration is measured?

Whose integration is to be measured, and by comparison with whom, is by no means clearly and consistently explained. The following differences can be found in the monitorings carried out to date:
  • persons with and without a migration background (possibly also: persons with a migration background and the total population).foreign and German nationals. A special case of this is the comparison of naturalised citizens with foreigners of the same origin.
  • first generation (born abroad) and second generation (born in Germany), alternatively also differentiation according to age groups.
  • men and women.
  • selected countries or regions of origin. This is the most disputed differentiation, among other reasons because there is the fear of encouraging the "ethnicising" of the integration debate (see conclusion).
Unemployment rate for different population groups in NRWUnemployment rate for different population groups in NRW Lizenz: cc by-nc-nd/2.0/de (bpb)
The fact that the selection of the observed groups has a considerable influence on the results is shown in the following example from the 2008 integration report for North Rhine-Westphalia. If we first observe the unemployment rate [8] for people with and without a migration history, the difference is considerable (17.9% versus 7.7%). Still higher is the proportion for foreign nationals (21.7%) and especially for those of Turkish citizenship (26.1%). Even so, the figures for naturalised former Turkish citizens at 19.4% are clearly lower than those for their fellow countrymen who are not naturalised. The better socio-economic placing of migrants who have acquired German nationality is, meanwhile, attested to many times over and underlines the necessity of data sets for integration monitoring that are as extensively differentiated as possible.

7) Are there any more extensive analyses?

Describing the state and development of integration is the core concern of the presented approaches. Additionally, more extensive approaches may be found, for instance using multivariate data analyses on selected areas of integration (Federal Government Commissioner) or the calculation of a comprehensive index derived from individual indicator values (Berlin Institute). On the basis of this index the Berlin Institute has also drawn up "rankings" of migrant groups, federal states and cities; in other words, evaluative comparisons heavily predominate in this study [9]. In the report for the Federal Government Commissioner, by contrast, more far-reaching analyses were designed to explain whether the differences discerned between people with and without a migration background could indeed be attributed to this background or to other factors (e.g. educational status). The results have varied according to the area being assessed. Thus it transpired that people from migrant families are more likely to be unemployed than comparable indigenous Germans, despite having, technically, equivalent educational and professional qualifications. By contrast, when considering socio-structural factors, having a migration background was found to have no significant influence on health [10].


Länderoffene Arbeitsgruppe (2009: 3).
Siegert (2009).
For theoretical principles see e.g. Esser (1990) and Heckmann (2001).
Landeshauptstadt Wiesbaden (2008: 7)
The Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) is a representative panel survey of private households in Germany, conducted annually since 1984 among the same persons and families. The study now includes about 20,000 adults living in more than 10,000 households and is conducted by the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW).
Number of immediately available unemployed persons aged between 15 and less than 65 years per 100 economic active persons of a corresponding age.
Cf. Kunz for criticism (2009).
ISG/WZB (2009: 17f.)



Länderprofile Migration: Daten - Geschichte - Politik

Ein Länderprofil enthält Informationen über Zuwanderung, Flucht und Asyl sowie Integration in einem bestimmten Land. Diese Informationen bestehen aus: Daten und Statistiken, Geschichtlichen Entwicklungen, Rechtlichen und politischen Maßnahmen, Aktuellen Debatten in den Ländern.

Mehr lesen


Zahlen zu Asyl in Deutschland

Wie viele Menschen suchen in Deutschland Asyl? Woher kommen sie? Wie viele Asylanträge sind erfolgreich? Und wie viele Menschen werden abgeschoben? Wir stellen die wichtigsten Zahlen zum Thema Asyl und Flucht monatlich aktualisiert in einfachen Infografiken dar.

Mehr lesen