Germany

Migrants in Germany are at a disadvantage

A recent report by the German Federal Statistical Office shows that in terms of education, employment and income levels, those with a migration background are much worse off than those without.

Deutschland Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge in Nürnberg (picture alliance/dpa/Geisler-Fotopress)

The Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), which conducts regular reporting on integration, has found that the differences between persons with and without a migration background have mostly remained unchanged since 2005. But people with a migration background differ markedly from those without a migration background in key areas, such as education, the labor market and income. 

Read more: Germany sees record number of people with immigrant background

Education

Destatis collected data on the proportion of young people between 18 and 25 years of age without a school leaving certificate to compare the level of education between those with and without a migration background. The long-term statistics showed little change in results.

For people without a migration background, the figure remained at around 4 percent. For those with a migration background, the proportion fell from 10.6 percent in 2005, to 8.3 percent in 2011. By 2016 the number had risen to 12.1 percent due to the large influx of people with low levels of education. But for those who were born in Germany, but have a migration background, the figures remained largely constant. In 2016, it was 6.7 percent.

Read more: Refugees in Germany: 'We won't be able to integrate everyone'

A graph showing the proportion of 18 to 25 years olds without a school-leaving certificate

Employment

Destatis looked at the unemployment levels for people in the 15-64 age group to calculate the differences between those with and without a migration background. For people with a migration background, the proportion of those who were unemployed decreased significantly from 17.9 percent in 2005 to 7.1 percent in 2016.

For those without a migration background, unemployment also decreased, from 9.8 percent in 2005 to 3.4 percent in 2016, showing that both groups profited from Germany’s successful economic development. However, the statistics show that those with a migration background have much poorer chances in the labor market than those without a migration background.

A graph showing the proportion of unemployed persons aged 15 - 64

Income

The area of income was calculated by looking at the proportion of the so-called "working poor" in the two groups. This is the share of workers at risk of poverty across all employees. Between 2005 and 2016, the proportion of "working poor" has remained almost unchanged for people with and without a migration background. But the statistics show that, once again, those with a migration background are less well off.

Read more: Two years since Germany opened its border to refugees: A chronology

A graph showing the share of workers at risk of poverty

Area of improvement

One area where the disadvantage for people with a migration background has decreased since 2005 is in the comparative proportion of people with a university degree. The share of young people aged 25-34 who have a migration background and hold a university degree has increased significantly since 2005. In 2016, there was no difference between people with and without a migration background in this area. The figure for both was 26.1 percent. 

A graph showing the proportion of 25 to under 35 year olds with a university degree
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