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Refugees in Germany with children still living abroad have lowest life satisfaction

Weekly Report of October 17, 2018

Family strongly influences personal well-being—especially in the case of refugees, whose family members often remain in their homeland. This report is the first to closely examine the well-being and family structures of refugees who came to Germany between January 2013 and January 2016. It uses data from the IAB-BAMF-SOEP Survey of Refugees in Germany. Among individuals aged between 18 and 49, nine percent have minor children living outside Germany, whereas twelve percent have a husband or wife living abroad. If the nuclear family is living in Germany—which is more often the case for women than men—refugees are measurably more satisfied with their lives. These findings are also confirmed when accounting for other potential factors for well-being. These findings should be given greater consideration—not least in the debate on family reunification—to enable successful migration, integration, and family policies. [...]