Family Context of Refugees: Comparing Iraqi and Syrian Men and Women in Austria and Germany

Isabella Buber-Ennser, Wittgenstein Centre (IIASA, VID/ÖAW, WU)
Judith Kohlenberger, Wittgenstein Centre (IIASA, VID/ÖAW, WU)
Elisabeth K. Kraus , Federal Institute for Population Research
Bernhard Rengs, Wittgenstein Centre (IIASA, VID/ÖAW, WU)
Lenore Sauer, Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB)

In recent years, large numbers of asylum seekers arrived in Europe, many originating from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. Austria and Germany turned out to be important countries of destination of refugee-seeking persons around the years 2014-2017. Few studies examine the family arrangements and spousal migration practices of refugees. To fill this gap in current research, we study the family context and arrangements of newly arrived Iraqi and Syrian nationals. In particular, we focus on the determinants for leaving back a spouse and/or children and possible differences between two of the major destination countries in Europe, Austria and Germany. The empirical analyses build on two unique datasets, the DiPAS (Displaced Persons in Austria Survey) for Austria and the IAB-BAMF-SOEP Survey of Refugees for Germany. Descriptive results on married respondents show that more women compared to men arrive in Austria/Germany together with their partner and that men more often had left their spouse in the origin country or another country. When focusing on parents only, results show that more men arrived in destination countries without their spouse and children, while most married women arrived together with their husband and children in Austria/Germany, to approximately the same extent in both destinations. Preliminary multivariate logistic regression analyses indicate that the educational level of the wife as well as the age of both wife and husband have a significant effect on fleeing as a couple. Furthermore, having children left behind is significantly associated with the number and age of the children and the couple context.

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 Presented in Session 78. Flash Session Migration and Migrants