Nowhere Better Than Here?
The Subjective Well-Being of German Emigrants and Remigrants

Marcel Erlinghagen


The paper investigates in the question if and how the subjective well-being (SWB) of German emigrants, German non-migrants, and German remigrants differ. Based on regression analyses of data from the European Social Survey (ESS) the analyses focus on life satisfaction and happiness as main indicators of SWB. It turns out that German emigrants show increased SWB compared to German non-migrants or remigrants. However, these findings cannot be explained by differences in the socio-economic or socio-demographic group structure. In fact, the increased SWB of emigrants is much more an effect of psychosocial differences and differences in the individual evaluation of household income.


Life-satisfaction; Well-being; Emigration; Remigration

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