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Wido Geis-Thöne IW-Report No. 1 15. January 2023 Integration needs of children in regional comparison

While the citizenship says little about the state of integration of adults, it is a good indicator of a recent migration history in the case of children.

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Integration needs of children in regional comparison
Wido Geis-Thöne IW-Report No. 1 15. January 2023

Integration needs of children in regional comparison

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German Economic Institute (IW) German Economic Institute (IW)

While the citizenship says little about the state of integration of adults, it is a good indicator of a recent migration history in the case of children.

Since the reform of the citizenship law in 2000, all children born in Germany are granted German citizenship at birth if at least one parent has been legally resident in the country for at least eight years and has an unlimited right of residence. This means that, as a rule, only children who have immigrated themselves or whose parents came to the country comparatively recently before their birth do not have German citizenship. Since these are typically the groups that need special support in the area of integration, the proportion of children without German citizenship is a good indicator of the need for action here. There has been a strong increase in recent years. Whereas on 31 December 2011 only 4.3 percent of the children under six years in Germany did not have German citizenship, on 31 December 2021 the figure was 14.2 percent, more than three times as high. If all children under 15 years are considered, the corresponding proportion at that time was 13.6 per cent. Of these, more than half (54.5 per cent) were immigrants themselves, whereas this only applied to a minority (20.2 per cent) of the children under six years.

These children without German citizenship are very unevenly distributed regionally. This is already evident at the level of the federal states. On 31.12.2020, their share of all children under 15 years in Bremen was 23.6 per cent. This was more than three times as high as in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania with 6.6 per cent. At the district level, the highest values are found in the independent cities of Offenbach with 29.9 per cent, Bremerhaven with 28.1 per cent, Hof with 27.2 per cent, Pforzheim with 27.1 per cent and Gelsenkirchen with 26.8 per cent. Overall, there is a strong concentration in the larger cities and especially in the Rhine-Main and Ruhr areas, whereas the proportions in the rural areas in the east are often very low. In particular, poorer municipalities with high proportions of children whose families have only recently immigrated may find it difficult to implement a good infrastructure in the area of integration. Therefore, the federal and state governments should provide more support to the municipalities in this area. This is even more important as the number of children with special needs in the area of integration is likely to increase sharply again with the influx of refugees from Ukraine in the course of 2022.

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Integration needs of children in regional comparison
Wido Geis-Thöne IW-Report No. 1 15. January 2023

Integration needs of children in regional comparison

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German Economic Institute (IW) German Economic Institute (IW)

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Wido Geis-Thöne IW-Report No. 3 21. January 2023

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Wido Geis-Thöne IW-Trends 17. November 2022

Securing Skilled Labour by Attracting and Retaining International Students: The Status Quo and Suggested Approaches for Policymakers

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