Social Integration of Refugees Is Improving

DIW Weekly Report 34 / 2020, S. 355-363

Katja Schmidt, Jannes Jacobsen, Magdalena Krieger

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Five years ago, almost a million people came to Germany seeking refuge. Chancellor Angela Merkel responded to public concern over such a large influx of refugees with her well-known saying, “Wir schaffen das” (We can do this!). Much has happened since then. As this report shows, the German population’s concerns over immigration have been decreasing since 2016. Nevertheless, refugees are increasingly concerned about xenophobia. At the same time, although their trust in key state institutions is high, they are less trusting of Germany’s public administration system. One way of building mutual reliance might be to foster personal contact between refugees and local populations. However, the present study indicates that, so far, only around half of refugees have regular contact with Germans. Female refugees, in particular, have less contact with Germans. Government initiatives to create diverse social networks could be an important step toward greater integration.

Katja Schmidt

Ph.D. Student in the German Socio-Economic Panel study Department

Lisa Pagel

Ph.D. Student in the German Socio-Economic Panel study Department

Jannes Jacobsen

Research Associate in the German Socio-Economic Panel study Department

JEL-Classification: J15;J18;J19;F22;O15;R23;J14
Keywords: refugees; concerns about immigration; trust; integration; bridging ties