The examples put forward here show how difficult it can be to judge the differences in morbidity and mortality between migrants and the majority population in the migrants' country of destination.
Not all morbidity and mortality data, however, give reliable answers to questions as to whether migrants have a good life and whether they are treated with consideration. For this, it is necessary to draw on selected health indicators such as infant and maternal mortality or studies of the mental state and socio-economic situation of migrants. In addition, the health problems and care needs of older people with a migration background are of increasing – and, so far, underestimated – importance.
To date, many of the routine records available in Germany do not permit sufficient differentiation between people with and without a migration background. In addition, social epidemiological research on the health of migrants is primarily "data-laden", i.e. based only on the evaluation of existing data with no theoretical underpinning. Both need to change in the future. This cannot be achieved by better data alone: if the existing deficit in theory is not reviewed, then research into migration will continue to document health differences without being able to explain and eradicate their causes.