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Is there evidence of increased morbidity rates for minority and migrant groups?

Key Area:
Health And Social Protection
Discrimination, Equality
25/01/2013 - 13:50
Short Answer


Qualitative Info

According to data from the German Microcensus the morbidity rate has increased in general and for all groups between 2005 and 2009. During this period of time, the rate increased by 18 per cent for persons with a migration background and by 19 per cent for foreigners, whereas the rate for persons without a migration background increased only by 15 per cent. While the morbidity rate for the whole population with a migration background (12.1 per cent) is lower than the morbidity rate of the German population without a migration background (14.5 per cent), the population with a migration background has a higher morbidity rate among the middle and higher age groups [1, 2].

A report on morbidity and mortality of migrants in Germany (2011) shows that some migrant groups (refugees, asylum-seekers, late repatriate, migrants from Turkey and Eastern Europe) are facing higher risks of certain diseases such as infectious and parasitic diseases. They also suffer diseases such as cancer caused by a higher concentration of harmful substances or environmental pollutants in the country of origin [3]. Besides they are also at higher risk of psychological problems. Poor mental and physical health is caused by uncertainty about the future, long-term detention, lack of information and isolation from family members and friends [4].



  1. Federal Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration (Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Migration, Flüchtlinge und Integration) (ed.) (2011): Zweiter Integrationsindikatorenbericht, p.121-123,;jsessionid=A07701E41DE227773CE79446453F372B.s2t1?__blob=publicationFile, Accessed on 30.01.2012.
  2. Federal Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration (Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Migration, Flüchtlinge und Integration) (2010): 8. Bericht der Beauftragten der Bundesregierung für Migration, Flüchtlinge und Integration über die Lage der Ausländerinnen und Ausländer in Deutschland, p. 340,;jsessionid=302B1C999D11829D7D54EEABEBEC1CFA.s2t1?__blob=publicationFile, Accessed on 30.01.2012.
  3. Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge (2011), Morbidität und Mortalität von Migranten in Deutschland, p. 61-70,, Accessed on 15.01.2013.
  4. German Society for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Neurology (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Psychiatrie, Psychotherapie und Nervenheilkunde), Position paper (2012), ‘Psychisch krank durch Migration? Perspektiven der Migrationspsychiatrie in Deutschland’, available at:, Accessed on 25.01.2013.


Groups affected/interested Migrants, Roma & Travelers, Ethnic minorities, Religious minorities, Linguistic minorities, National minorities
Type (R/D)
Key socio-economic / Institutional Areas Health and social protection
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