Jan Brzozowski https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8517-3485 , Joanna Sikorska https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3740-1137

© Jan Brzozowski, Joanna Sikorska. Artykuł udostępniony na licencji CC BY-SA 4.0


(Angielski) PDF


The socio-economic adaptation of immigrants in Europe is the source of great concern both to experts and policy-makers. The literature on the subject regards the traditional approach to measuring the adaptation of foreigners to the host country, invloving the use of indicators such as full-time employment or income level, as insufficient, and advocates a more diversified and inclusive approach. Our study answers this call by taking into account the subjective wellbeing (SWB) of individuals (life satisfaction scores) while researching the socioeconomic adaptation of immigrants in Europe.
The main aim of the study is to empirically assess the socio-economic adaptation of firstgeneration immigrants and persons with immigrant background (i.e. those who have at least one immigrant parent) in European states. To this end, we analyse the determinants of the SWB based on the data from the European Social Survey conducted in 2018 in 29 European countries on the population aged 15+. In our model, we use the religious affiliation and religiosity of individuals as an additional measure of cultural identity. We also take into account control variables such as labour market participation, education, marital status and disability. We apply Ordinary Least Squares regression, a method commonly used in analyses of this type.
We find that the first-generation immigrant status does not impact directly on the SWB, i.e. the life satisfaction scores of foreign-born persons are similar to those of the local community. What has a more significant influence is the immigrnats’ religious affiliation: Muslims are the religious group dissatisfied with life to the largest extent. Yet, their life satisfaction increases considerably among the second-generation immigrants, i.e. persons who have at least one foreign-born parent. Therefore, our results confirm that the new generation of Muslims with immigrant background born in European host countries is better adapted to the socioeconomic conditions than their parents’ generation or native Muslims.


immigrants, adaptation, subjective wellbeing, immigrant background


J15, I31, Z13


Adida, C. L., Laitin, D. D., & Valfort, M.-A. (2016). Why Muslim integration fails in Christianheritage societies. Harvard University Press.

Ajala, I. (2014). Muslims in France and Great Britain: Issues of Securitization, Identities and Loyalties Post 9/11. Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, 34(2), 123–133. https://doi.org/10.1080/13602004.2014.911583.

Alba, R., & Nee, V. (1997). Rethinking Assimilation Theory for a New Era of Immigration. The International Migration Review, 31(4), 826–874. https://doi.org/10.2307/2547416.

Ambrosetti, E., & Paparusso, A. (2021). What are the Main Factors Associated with Immigrants’ Subjective Well-being in Italy? Evidence from Self-reported Life Satisfaction. International Migration, 59(4), 221–237. https://doi.org/10.1111/imig.12780.

Amit, K., & Bar-Lev, S. (2015). Immigrants’ sense of belonging to the host country: The role of life satisfaction, language proficiency, and religious motives. Social Indicators Research, 124(3), 947– 961. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-014-0823-3.

Angelini, V., Casi, L., & Corazzini, L. (2014). Life Satisfaction of Immigrants: Does Cultural Assimilation Matter? (SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research, No. 654). https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/97159/1/786311983.pdf.

Arends-Tóth, J., & Van de Vijver, F. J. R. (2007). Acculturation Attitudes: A Comparison of Measurement Methods. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 37(7), 1462–1488. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1559-1816.2007.00222.x.

Berray, M. (2019). A Critical Literary Review of the Melting Pot and Salad Bowl Assimilation and Integration Theories. Journal of Ethnic & Cultural Studies, 6(1), 142–151. https://doi.org/10.29333/ejecs/217.

Berry, J. W., Phinney, J. S., Sam, D. L., & Vedder, P. (2006). Immigrant youth: Acculturation, identity, and adaptation. Applied Psychology, 55(3), 303–332. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1464-0597.2006.00256.x.

Borraz, F., Pozo, S., & Rossi, M. (2008). And What About the Family Back Home? International Migration and Happiness (Universidad de la República dECON Working Paper No. 03/08). https://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1155108.

Brockmann, H. (2017). Happy Newcomers? Subjective Well-Being of First-Generation Immigrants in Germany (EUI Working Papers RSCAS No. 63). https://cadmus.eui.eu/bitstream/handle/1814/49424/RSCAS_2017_63.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y.

Brzozowski, J. (2017). Immigrant Entrepreneurship and Economic Adaptation: A Critical Analysis. Entrepreneurial Business and Economics Review, 5(2), 159–176. https://doi.org/10.15678/EBER.2017.050209.

Brzozowski, J., & Coniglio, N. (2021). International Migration and the (Un)happiness Push: Evidence from Polish Longitudinal Data. International Migration Review, 55(4), 1089–1120. https://doi.org/10.1177/01979183211004835.

Budyta-Budzyńska, M. (2011). Adaptation, integration, assimilation: An attempt at a theoretical approach. http://migracje.civitas.edu.pl/migracje/images/pdf_eng/chapter%203.pdf.

Cai, R., Esipova, N., Oppenheimer, M., & Feng, S. (2014). International migration desires related to subjective well-being. IZA Journal of Migration, 3(1), 1–20. https://doi.org/10.1186/2193-9039-3-8.

Celenk, O., & Van de Vijver, F. J. R. (2011). Assessment of Acculturation: Issues and Overview of Measures. Online Readings in Psychology and Culture, 8(1), 1–22. https://doi.org/10.9707/2307-0919.1105.

Chow, H. P. H. (2007). Sense of belonging and life satisfaction among Hong Kong adolescent immigrants in Canada. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 33(3), 511–520. https://doi.org/10.1080/13691830701234830.

Conzen, K. N., Gerber, D. A., Morawska, E., Pozzetta, G. E., & Vecoli, R. J. (1992). The Invention of Ethnicity: A Perspective from the U.S.A. Journal of American Ethnic History, 12(1), 3–41.

De Haas, H., Castles, S., & Miller, M. J. (2019). The Age of Migration. International Population Movements in the Modern World (6th edition). Guilford Press.

Demes, K. A., & Geeraert, N. (2014). Measures Matter: Scales for Adaptation, Cultural Distance, and Acculturation Orientation Revisited. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 45(1), 91–109. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022022113487590.

Drouhot, L. G., & Nee, V. (2019). Assimilation and the Second Generation in Europe and America: Blending and Segregating Social Dynamics between Immigrants and Natives. Annual Review of Sociology, 45, 177–199. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-soc-073117-041335.

Erlinghagen, M., Kern, C., & Stein, P. (2019). Migration, social stratification and dynamic effects on subjective well-being (SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research, No. 1046). https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/204591/1/1677893451.pdf.

European Research Infrastructure Consortium. (2021). ESS9 – integrated file, edition 3.1 [data set]. Norwegian Agency for Shared Services in Education and Research. https://doi.org/10.21338/ESS9E03_1.

Favell, A. (2019). Integration: twelve propositions after Schinkel. Comparative Migration Studies, 7(1), 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40878-019-0125-7.

Fuller, S., & Martin, T. F. (2012). Predicting Immigrant Employment Sequences in the First Years of Settlement. International Migration Review, 46(1), 138–190. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1747-7379.2012.00883.x.

Gordon, M. M. (1961). Assimilation in America: Theory and Reality. Daedalus, 90(2), 263–285.

Grzymała-Kazłowska, A. (2008). „Integracja” – próba rekonstrukcji pojęcia. In A. Grzymała- Kazłowska, S. Łodziński (Eds.), Problemy integracji imigrantów. Koncepcje, badania, polityki (pp. 29–50). Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego.

Grzymała-Kazłowska, A., & Phillimore, J. (2018). Introduction: rethinking integration. New perspectives on adaptation and settlement in the era of super-diversity. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 44(2), 179–196. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369183X.2017.1341706.

Hendriks, M., & Bartram, D. (2019). Bringing Happiness Into the Study of Migration and Its Consequences: What, Why, and How?. Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies, 17(3), 279–298. https://doi.org/10.1080/15562948.2018.1458169.

Hendriks, M., & Burger, M. J. (2020). Unsuccessful subjective well-being assimilation among immigrants: The role of faltering perceptions of the host society. Journal of Happiness Studies, 21(6), 1985–2006. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-019-00164-0.

Hirsch, W. (1976). Assimilation as Concept and as Process. In D. E. Weinberg (Ed.), Ethnicity. A Conceptual Approach (pp. 259–272). Cleveland State University.

Ivlevs, A. (2014). Happiness and the Emigration Decision. IZA World of Labor, 96, 1–11. http://eprints.uwe.ac.uk/24215.

Ivlevs, A., Nikolova, M., & Graham, C. (2019). Emigration, remittances, and the subjective wellbeing of those staying behind. Journal of Population Economics, 32, 113–151. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00148-018-0718-8.

Johnson, T. M. (Ed.). (2011). Acculturation. Implications for Individuals, Families and Societies. Nova Science Publishers.

Kaczmarczyk, P., Brunarska, Z., Brzozowska, A., & Kardaszewicz, K. (2020). Economic integration of immigrants – towards a new conceptualization of an old term (CMR Working Papers 120/178).

Laurentsyeva, N., & Venturini, A. (2017). The Social Integration of Immigrants and the Role of Policy – A Literature Review. Intereconomics, 52(5), 285–292. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10272-017-0691-6.

Ho Lee, Y. (1998). Acculturation and delinquent behavior—? The case of Korean American youths. International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice, 22(2), 273–292. https://doi.org/10.1080/01924036.1998.9678623.

Lenard, P. T. (2010). What can multicultural theory tell us about integrating Muslims in Europe?. Political Studies Review, 8(3), 308–321. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1478-9302.2010.00219.x.

Leszczensky, L., Maxwell, R., & Bleich, E. (2020). What factors best explain national identification among Muslim adolescents? Evidence from four European countries. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 46(1), 260–276. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369183X.2019.1578203.

Lovo, S. (2014). Potential migration and subjective well-being in Europe. IZA Journal of Migration, 3, 1–18. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40176-014-0024-5.

Maharjan, A., de Campos, R. S., Singh, C., Das, S., Srinivas, A., Bhuiyan, M. R. A., Ishaq, S., Umar, M. A., Dilshad, T., Shrestha, K., Bhadwal, S., Ghosh, T., Suckall, N., & Vincent, K. (2020). Migration and Household Adaptation in Climate-Sensitive Hotspots in South Asia. Current Climate Change Report, 6(1), 1–16. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40641-020-00153-z.

Mahfouz, S. M. (2013). America’s Melting Pot or the Salad Bowl: The Stage Immigrant’s Dilemma. Journal of Foreign Languages, Cultures & Civilizations, 1(2), 1–17. https://doi.org/10.15640/jflcc.

McGoldrick, D. (2009). Accommodating Muslims in Europe: from adopting Sharia law to religiously based opt outs from generally applicable laws. Human Rights Law Review, 9(4), 603– 645. https://doi.org/10.1093/hrlr/ngp024.

McLeman, R. (2019). International migration and climate adaptation in an era of hardening borders. Nature Climate Change, 9(12), 911–918. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-019-0634-2.

McLeman, R. A., & Hunter, L. M. (2010). Migration in the context of vulnerability and adaptation to climate change: insights from analogues. WIREs. Climate Change, 1(3), 450–461. https://doi.org/10.1002/wcc.51.

Melzer, S. M., & Muffels, R. J. A. (2017). Migrants’ pursuit of happiness: An analysis of the effects of adaptation, social comparison and economic integration on subjective well-being on the basis of German panel data for 1990–2014. Migration Studies, 5(2), 190–215. https://doi.org/10.1093/migration/mnx021.

Motti-Stefanidi, F., & García Coll, C. (2018). We have come a long way, baby: “Explaining positive adaptation of immigrant youth across cultures”. Journal of Adolescence, 62(1), 218–221. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.adolescence.2017.09.012.

Musaitif, A. (2018). Psychometric Properties of the Satisfaction with Life Scale Among Arab Americans [Doctoral dissertation, Marquette University]. https://epublications.marquette.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1802&context=dissertations_mu.

Nowok, B., van Ham, M., Findlay, A. M., & Gayle, V. (2013). Does Migration Make You Happy? A Longitudinal Study of Internal Migration and Subjective Well-Being. Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, 45(4), 986–1002. https://doi.org/10.1068/a45287.

Paparusso, A. (2021). Immigrant Integration in Europe. A Subjective Well-Being Perspective. Springer Nature.

Park, R. E., & Burgess, E. W. (1921). Introduction to the Science of Sociology. University of Chicago.

Phalet, K., Fleischmann, F., & Hillekens, J. (2018). Religious identity and acculturation of immigrant minority youth: Toward a contextual and developmental approach. European Psychologist, 23(1), 32–43. https://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.1027/1016-9040/a000309.

Portes, A., & Rivas, A. (2011). The Adaptation of Migrant Children. The Future of Children, 21(1), 219–246.

Preljević, H., & Ljubović, M. (2021). Re-thinking About Muslim Migration into the European Union. Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, 41(2), 263–280. https://doi.org/10.1080/13602004.2021.1943883.

Ruggeri, K., Garcia-Garzon, E., Maguire, Á., Matz, S., & Huppert, F. A. (2020). Well-being is more than happiness and life satisfaction: a multidimensional analysis of 21 countries. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 18(1), 1–16. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12955-020-01423-y.

Sobczak-Szelc, K., & Fekih, N. (2020). Migration as one of several adaptation strategies for environmental limitations in Tunisia: evidence from El Faouar. Comparative Migration Studies, 8(8), 1–20. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40878-019-0163-1.

Statham, P., Koopmans, R., Giugni, M., & Passy, F. (2005). Resilient or adaptable Islam? Multiculturalism, religion and migrants’ claims-making for group demands in Britain, the Netherlands and France. Ethnicities, 5(4), 427–459. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1468796805058092.

Stillman, S., Gibson, J., McKenzie, D., & Rohorua, H. (2012). Miserable Migrants? Natural Experiment Evidence on International Migration and Objective and Subjective Well-Being (IZA Discussion Paper, No. 6871). https://docs.iza.org/dp6871.pdf.

Stuart, J., & Ward, C. (2011). A question of balance: Exploring the acculturation, integration and adaptation of Muslim immigrant youth. Psychosocial Intervention, 20(3), 255–267. https://doi.org/10.5093/in2011v20n3a3.

Sun, X., Chui, E. W. T., Chen, J., & Fu, Y. (2020). School Adaptation of Migrant Children in Shanghai: Accessing Educational Resources and Developing Relations. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 29(6), 1745–1756. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-019-01608-0.

Zweig, J. S. (2015). Are women happier than men? Evidence from the Gallup World Poll. Journal of Happiness Studies, 16(2), 515–541. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-014-9521-8.

Do góry
© 2019-2022 Copyright by Główny Urząd Statystyczny, pewne prawa zastrzeżone. Licencja Creative Commons Uznanie autorstwa - Na tych samych warunkach 4.0 (CC BY-SA 4.0) Creative Commons — Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International — CC BY-SA 4.0