Growing mobility is changing Europe. Germany is a magnet for immigrants and has opened itself up in an impressive manner, following a long period of discussion as to whether it was a country of immigration that underestimated its continuous migration history. Immigration is urgently needed in an aging and shrinking society. Currently migration flows in Europe are characterized by two major developments: Intra-European labour migration and refugee migration. Migrants are often subdivided into categories according to their chanel of legal immigration as well as to their regions of origin: Internal EU migrants, refugees, students, family reunification immigrant- and labour immigrants from non-EU countries.
Surprisingly, little is known to date about each of these immigrant groups with regard to their specific migration motives, their living situation in Germany, the planned duration of their stay as well as their social and labour market integration. On the one hand, this is due to missing or only partially valid statistics, especially in regard to the large group of persons coming to Germany based on the freedom of movement for EU citizens, as well as undocumented third-country nationals living in the country. On the other hand, this is also due to the methodology used to collect statistical data: migrants are mainly recorded and presented in a one-dimensional manner according to their region of origin, nationality or ethnic background. Differences between immigrants from one country in terms of key factors such as level of education, social background, migration motives etc. only play a marginal role. Similarities between sub-groups from various countries are researched and utilized to an even lesser extent to support successful migration and integration.