Immigration to Lower Saxony

Representative survey of immigrants in Lower Saxony

Project period

01.02.2015 – 31.08.2018
The evaluations run until the end of 2019

Project staff

Prof. Dr. Thomas Bliesener

Dr. Dominic Kudlacek (Project manager)

Stephanie Fleischer


Ministry for Social Affairs, Health and Equality of Lower Saxony

Cooperation partner

Ministry of Interior and Sports of Lower Saxony

Prof. Dr. Michael Windzio (University of Bremen)

Prof. Dr. Dirk Baier (Zurich University of Applied Sciences)

Project description

As part of the project “Immigration to Lower Saxony”, people who moved to Lower Saxony  from abroad in 2015 are repeatedly asked about various topics. The central task of the research project is to systematically record and analyze the experiences of immigrants over a longer period of time, and to propose measures to improve integration policies. For this reason, the participants of the study will take part in a survey four times. The first survey took place shortly after they moved to Lower Saxony. The second followed after six and the third after eighteen months. The fourth survey is scheduled for June 2018.
The surveys are carried out in writing and by post. In addition, the randomly selected immigrants receive a letter containing the questionnaire and an addressed return envelope. In order for the study participants to receive the questionnaire in their native language, they were translated into 16 languages.

The first survey
The main purpose of the first survey was to provide an inventory that sheds light on who the immigrants are. Included were for example age, gender, history of education, previously professions, language skills, religion, basic financial resources, history of the decision to emigrate to Germany and finally the fears and hopes for life in Germany.

The second survey
The second survey took place six months after the initial survey, so that it was possible to quickly investigate what experiences the newcomers had gained during the first few months with authorities, employers and in their social environment. This should make it clear what the migrants in Germany have experienced, what they have succeeded in and where they have failed.

The third questioning
On the one hand, the third survey contains topics from the first two surveys, on the other hand it is supplemented by new topics such as understanding democracy, violent behavior and attitudes to antisemitism. It is only through the scientific monitoring of the various groups of migrants over a period of almost two years that it will be possible to work out sufficiently reliable insights into how immigration to Lower Saxony proceeds and which framework conditions promote integration and which inhibit it.

Project related publications
  • Kudlacek, D., Fleischer, S. & Baier, D. (2019). Erfahrungen und Einschätzungen von Zuwanderinnen und Zuwanderern im zeitlichen Verlauf – Ergebnisse der Längs-schnittbefragung „Zuwanderung nach Niedersachsen“ (KFN-Forschungsberichte No. 148). Hannover: KFN.
  • Fleischer, S., Kudlacek, D. & Baier, D. (2018). Zuwanderung nach Niedersachsen. Ergebnisse einer migrationssoziologischen Untersuchung. Forschungsbericht Nr. 140. Hannover: Kriminologisches Forschungsinstitut Niedersachsen.