GSB 7.1 Standardlösung

Reasons to Emigrate from Germany

Content and Objectives

In the context of a globalising world and increasing transnational migration processes, since the late 1990s international mobility among the German population has developed into a prominent field of public, political and scientific discourse. Unlike the extensive research about immigration to Germany, few academic analyses exist that focus on the emigration and return migration processes of the German population.

Given the recent demographic developments and the expected decline of the skilled workforce, political decision-makers are interested in reliable and comparable information about the extent, causes and consequences of emigration and return migration.

The objective of this study is the analysis of these emigration and return migration processes with a focus on different migration motives being of particular interest. Similarly, the influence of economic conditions and political contexts in the countries of origin and destination on emigration and return migration will be analysed. In addition to these substantive interests, the study also explores the feasibility of drawing a representative sample of the internationally mobile German population.

Data and Methods

The project is based on a survey conducted in 2014 among 1,700 German emigrants and returnees. The random sample was drawn on the basis of the local resident registers where they were last or in which they are presently registered. The survey was conducted by SUZ in Duisburg using an online questionnaire.

The scientific use files of this survey called Internationally Mobile can be requested from GESIS under the study number ZA6767.


Prof. Dr. Marcel Erlinghagen
Universität Duisburg-Essen
Institute of Sociology

Dr. Jan Schneider
Expert Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migration (SVR)


Forschungsbereich beim Sachverständigenrat deutscher Stiftungen für Integration und Migration; Bundesinstitut für Bevölkerungsforschung; Lehrstuhl für Empirische Sozialstrukturanalyse an der Universität Duisburg-Essen (Eds.) (2015):

Studie des SVR-Forschungsbereichs 2015-1. Berlin.

Ette, Andreas; Sauer, Lenore; Scheller, Friedrich; Bekalarczyk, Dawid; Erlinghagen, Marcel; Engler, Marcus; Schneider, Jan; Schultz, Caroline (2015):

BiB Daten- und Methodenberichte 1/2015. Wiesbaden: Bundesinstitut für Bevölkerungsforschung.

Ette, Andreas; Sauer, Lenore (2010):

Policy Paper im Auftrag der Bertelsmann-Stiftung. Gütersloh.

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