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IAB-BAMF-SOEP Survey of Refugees

Data source:

The IAB-BAMF-SOEP Survey of Refugees in Germany is a representative longitudinal survey conducted jointly by the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) in Nuremberg, the Research Centre on Migration, Integration, and Asylum of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF-FZ) and the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) at the DIW Berlin. The first wave of the survey was carried out in 2016, where interviews were sought with 4.816 persons.

Anchor persons were drawn from the Central Register of Foreigners (AZR). The sample is representative for asylum seekers who arrived between 1st of January 2013 and 31st of January 2016 and submitted a request for asylum until the end of June. Due to the longitudinal design, asylum seekers with a higher likelihood of staying in Germany were drawn with a higher probability (e.g. Afghans, Iraqis and Syrians). Moreover, women and individuals older than 30 were drawn with an above-average probability. Applying appropriate weighting, the results are still representative for refugees who arrived in the above-mentioned period.

The anchor persons were interviewed with a personal and a household questionnaire. All adult family members (e.g. partner, parents, adult children and siblings) living in the same household as the anchor person were also asked to answer the personal questionnaire.
The survey will be conducted annually, the questionnaires are similar to the IAB-SOEP Migration Sample


The IAB-BAMF-SOEP Survey of Refugees provides a database which permits to gain new insights about living conditions of individuals who sought protection in Germany in recent years.

The database contains the following information: Migration history (year of immigration, migration history, search behaviour and information channels, satisfaction with the current situation, intention to stay), labour market background (earnings, full- and part-time employment, benefit receipt, participation in active labour market policies), employment history (employment, self-employment, unemployment in Germany and in foreign countries), education history (highest obtained schooling and vocational degrees, years of schooling, education acquired at home and abroad, acknowledgement procedure of foreign credentials, language proficiency), miscellaneous (remittances to home countries, life satisfaction, risk preferences, social integration and acceptance), return migration intensions.

Please find more detailed information on the dataset in the outline.

The IAB-BAMF-SOEP Survey of Refugees is available as IAB-BAMF-SOEP-REF Survey Data and contains all the information collected in the first wave of the survey.

The IAB-BAMF-SOEP-REF-Survey Data can be downloaded by the applying institutions as a Scientific Use File (SUF). They are also contained in the SOEP data which can be ordered at the SOEP at DIW Berlin.

IAB-BAMF-SOEP-REF Survey Data: Dataset Descriptions and Questionnaires

Dataset descriptions

Questionnaires in German and English and as helping tool in Arab, Kurmanji, Farsi/Dari, Urdu and Pashtu:

Further information and working tools about the IAB-SOEP Migration Sample can be found at the SOEP at DIW Berlin and at the BAMF.

Data Access