Results from a study based on data from “Living in Germany” show steady improvement in German language skills among refugees who arrived in Germany between 2013 and 2016. As of 2019, five out of 10 refugees rated their German skills as “good” to “very good”. The study was carried out by researchers Wenke Niehues, Nina Rother, and Manuel Siegert from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF). Results also show that refugees are spending increasing amounts of time with Germans, especially in work and educational settings.
However, older refugees, refugees with poorer German skills, and refugee women with small children need more time to build social relationships with Germans. They also run the risk of falling behind in the development of language skills and social contact.
Study results also indicate that refugees’ social contact decreased again during the pandemic, and that many refugees’ language skills may have plateaued or declined.