Places for Integration? The Socio-Spatial Distribution of Immigrants in German Cities

Marcel Helbig, WZB Berlin Social Science Center
Stefanie Jähnen , WZB Berlin Social Science Center

In recent years, a large number of immigrants have come to Germany. We study where those migrants’ places of residence are located in German cities: How is the residential location of immigrants related to the social composition of the neighbourhoods they live in? To answer this question, we draw on a uniquely compiled data set covering 86 large and medium-sized German cities with 3,770 districts in total. Using linear multi-level regression models, we examine the relationship between the development of the share of foreigners in the districts between 2014 and 2017 and the social composition of the districts in 2014. We find that the proportion of foreigners has increased significantly more in the most socially disadvantaged districts, especially in East Germany. It seems that the residential location of migrants is mostly a matter of socioeconomic means. This further exacerbates the social situation in already disadvantaged neighbourhoods and represents a challenge for integration. The variance between the cities can partly be explained by their vacancy rate and tax revenues: With rising tax revenues, the link between the development of the share of foreigners and the social situation of the districts diminishes. This could be attributed to a gain in the mere capacity of cities to counteract socio-spatial inequalities.

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 Presented in Session 58. Internal Migration and Urbanization