Information about the study
“Living in Germany” is a long-term study that examines processes of change in society. Every year, more than 30,000 people are surveyed about their living situations and attitudes. The study has been ongoing since 1984 and is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and Germany’s state governments.
Researchers are constantly analyzing data from the study “Living in Germany,” which is known in the media and in the research community as the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP). Here you’ll find an overview of all the results.
How are immigrants doing in Germany?
Germany has made significant progress in refugee integration over recent years—in terms of employment, social integration, and political participation. In 2018, half of first-generation immigrants and three-quarters of second-generation immigrants considered themselves German. More recent arrivals have also found their place in society: Increasing numbers of refugees have good to very good German skills, have a job, and spend time with Germans—especially in work and educational contexts. Refugees are younger and physically healthier than the population average. Older refugees and female refugees with young children, however, often find it difficult to find work and build friendships with Germans. COVID-19 is affecting refugees as well: Refugees have lost their jobs more quickly than others during the pandemic. Refugees also experience more psychological strain than people without a migration background and suffer depression and anxiety, for example, more frequently.
These are just some of the findings from surveys of migrants in Germany, in which more than 2,500 immigrants have taken part annually since 2013 and more than 4,000 refugees since 2016.
Questions & Answers
Would you like to know why you were invited to participate in “Living in Germany”? Are you interested in finding out who is running the study?
Latest news on the survey
We’d like to interview you again in 2021!
We’d like to interview you for our study “Living in Germany” again this year. As announced previously, we are starting a little later than usual. But now the time has come, and an interviewer will be contacting you to arrange a date for your interview. What’s new this year is that the renowned infas Institute for Applied Social Sciences in Bonn is conducting the survey.
Participation in our study is always absolutely voluntary. But it’s important to keep in mind that in order to gain a detailed and accurate picture of the diverse living situations of people in Germany, we need as many of the selected households and individuals as possible to take part. Of course, we adhere strictly to all applicable data protection legislation.
Do you have any questions about this year’s survey or about the study in general? Please feel free to contact us. You’ll find contact details in our letters, on the back of our information brochures, and here on our website.
Your data are safe.
Without respondents’ trust in our careful handling of their personal data, the study “Living in Germany” would not be possible. For this reason, your survey responses are first anonymized, which means that all personal identifiers are permanently and completely removed from your data. This eliminates any possibility that you as an individual could ever be identified on the basis of your data or survey responses.
Important information on how interviewers deal with COVID-19
An interviewer will contact you to make an appointment for your interview. To eliminate any risk of virus transmission during the interview, they have been thoroughly trained in preventative measures for COVID-19 in accordance with current official guidelines. Your interviewer will be wearing an FFP2 mask when they ring your doorbell. And they will work with you to ensure that the minimum distance of 1.5 meters is maintained and that hygiene rules are observed throughout the entire interview. Your interviewer will also provide you with a hygiene kit consisting of a mask, disposable gloves, disinfectant gel, and disinfectant wipes.
Since the incidence of infection is always changing, appointments may have to be cancelled or postponed at short notice. We ask that you cancel your interview appointment if you have been instructed to quarantine or if you have cold symptoms or feel ill.
To learn more, see our brochure (PDF).
“Living in Germany” is the largest social scientific study in Germany. Carrying out a study like this requires a large, interdisciplinary team.
More than 32,000 people in around 22,000 households are surveyed every year about their living situations and attitudes.
More than 500 interviewers are deployed to survey the study participants.
More than 500 research teams around the world are working with the data from our study.
Your voice counts!
German society is evolving constantly and faces new challenges all the time. Researchers use the data from “Living in Germany” to investigate how our society is changing. The data provide a solid basis for policy decisions.
Each individual’s survey responses are important: they give voice to perspectives that might otherwise never be heard.
Every household that has participated in “Living in Germany” regularly over a period of years or even decades helps to ensure the outstanding quality of the study results.
That’s why we need you every year. Because every single voice counts.