Immigration to Germany: Better Qualified than the Domestic Population

Published on Spiegel Online International, Interview with Reiner Klingholz, by Maximilian Popp, June 5, 2014 (Translated from the German by Charles Hawley):
In recent years, Germany has begun attracting large numbers of highly qualified immigrants. Demographics expert Reiner Klingholz says that the development could be vital to the country’s future, despite ongoing problems with integration … //

… SPIEGEL: Why do children and grandchildren of Turkish immigrants have such a difficult time in school and on the labor market?  

  • Klingholz: Across the entire German population, the educational level of the parents has an immense influence on their children’s success in school. As such, it is no surprise that children of Turkish guest-worker families are among those that have the most difficulties. In addition, such households have often had negative experiences when it comes to integration. They are discriminated against on the job market due to their backgrounds, even if they have the necessary qualifications. The result is often the attitude: Even with more education we won’t be able to climb the social ladder.

SPIEGEL: Just recently, thousands of Turkish-Germans feted Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Cologne. Is that a sign that they still don’t feel totally at home in Germany?

  • Klingholz: There are a variety of reasons for the cheering. People of Turkish backgrounds from all social strata took part. But those here who have limited opportunities and don’t feel accepted certainly yearn for strength and their homeland. For these people, Erdogan represents an economically successful and strong Turkey, even if there are significant problems there in reality.

SPIEGEL: How could integration be made more successful for immigrants from lower social classes?

  • Klingholz: Children should be put in German-speaking daycare at an early age. Everything that can’t be offered at home must be provided by public early childhood education. And they need positive examples. Young immigrants have to be shown that people from their group can climb the ladder, but that personal initiative is necessary. Even someone as good as (German professional football star) Mesut Özil can’t get to where he is without effort.

SPIEGEL: Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government is proud of having taken steps toward easing rules on dual citizenship. With good reason? … //

… SPIEGEL: Can immigration put a stop to the significant demographic changes that are taking place?

  • Klingholz: No, but it can cushion the blow. It is true that immigrants tend to be between the ages of 20 and 30 when they arrive and they tend to have slightly more children on average than natives — they make the entire population younger. But they get older too, and the birthrate among immigrant groups tends to drop to the low rate present here within one generation.

(full Interview text).


Die verschwiegenen Kosten der Zuwanderung GERMAN DOKU, 111.35 min, von Ulrich Frings am 20. October 2013 auf YouTube hochgeladen;

Zusammenleben und Weiterentwicklung der Erdenmenschheit, auf Schreibstuben-Blog, von Heidi, Dez 22, 2008;

Der Mensch als EGO – ein anderer Blickwinkel, auf Schreibstuben-Blog, von Heidi, Dez 20, 2008;

Mein Kommentar zum Film DIE KLASSE, auf Schreibstuben-Blog, von Heidi, Nov 15, 2008; (Film: die Klasse);

Experimentiergruppen + Jugend- und Menschheitsentwicklung, auf Schreibstuben-Blog, von Heidi, Sept 18, 2008.

Comments are closed.