Study: How well do migrants integrate into the German school system?

Study: How well do migrants integrate into the German school system?

Figures collected by the “Council of Migration” have revealed how successful students with a migrant background are in the German school system.

Migrant students in Germany’s federal states

A study undertaken by the “Council of Migration”, a collection of around 150 migration researchers from different academic disciplines, has revealed how successful Germany's federal states are at integrating people from a migrant background into society.

The figures show that Germany’s western states have the highest concentration of migrants. In Bremen, 36,5 percent of inhabitants have foreign roots. Similarly, in the western-states of Baden-Württemberg, Hesse, Hamburg and North Rhine-Westphalia, as well as the eastern city-state of Berlin, around one in three inhabitants come from a migration background. In the rest of the eastern states, only around 8 percent of the population are migrants.

The disparity between the states’ migrant populations is also evident when considering the proportion of migrant students. In the western states of Bremen and Hamburg, around half of all students come from a migrant background, whereas only about seven percent of students in the eastern states have foreign roots. In Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, around a quarter of all students come from a migration background.

Migrant student success

Foreign students in eastern Germany tend to be less successful in high school than their western-based counterparts. The eastern states of Thuringia (32,9 percent) and Saxony-Anhalt (29,4 percent) have the highest proportion of migrant students who leave school without a degree. However, Bremen (26,1 percent), Schleswig-Holstein (25,7 percent) and Lower Saxony (23,1 percent) all also make it to the top five states for migrant school dropouts. The western states of Hesse (11,3 percent), Hamburg (13,3 percent) and Baden-Württemberg (15,9 percent) boast the lowest proportion of migrant dropouts.

Conversely, three out of the top five states for migrant students graduating high school with a degree are in the east. While Hamburg (26,6 percent) has the highest proportion of migrant graduates, it is followed closely by the eastern states of Berlin (26,3 percent), Saxony (24,2 percent) and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (20,2 percent). North Rhine-Westphalia follows with 17,3 percent of migrant students graduating with a degree from high school.

The states of Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia, Lower Saxony, Bremen and Baden-Württemberg are the five states with the lowest proportion of high school graduates.

William Nehra


William Nehra

William studied a masters in Classics at the University of Amsterdam. He is a big fan of Ancient History and football, particularly his beloved Watford FC.

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