Life satisfaction of immigrants across Europe: the role of social contacts

Bruno Arpino, Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Helga A. G. de Valk, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI) and Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Research on immigrants’ assimilation after settlement in the destination country is widespread both in the U.S. and Europe. While it has been extensively studied how immigrants behave compared to natives in socio-economic terms, little is known on immigrants’ perception of their life. In this paper we focus on life satisfaction of immigrants and natives across Europe by taking a comparative approach introducing two innovative aspects. First, we aim to describe differences in life satisfaction by immigrant status and origin across European countries of settlement. Second we explain differences between immigrants and natives by focusing specifically on the levels of social contacts and embeddedness of the individual. We use data from 6 rounds of the European Social Survey, a repeated cross-sectional survey carried out every second year since 2002.

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Presented in Session 31: Social networks among new immigrants and the foreign born