The Sinus-Migranten-Milieus are a means of segmenting and describing the diversity of migrant lifeworlds in Germany

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In 2008, SINUS was the first institute to examine the lifeworlds and lifestyles of people from different migrant backgrounds and to look at how these evolved as a result of living in Germany. We based the research on the Sinus-Milieus approach which enabled us to gain unadulterated insights into (and thus understand) the everyday world of migrants and their basic values, goals, wants and expectations in life. 

The study with its intra-national comparison is similar to the inter-cultural comparison across national borders in showing clearly that here too there are groups of like-minded people among migrants originating from different countries who share lifeworld patterns. The Migranten-Milieus differ less in terms of ethnic origin and social status than in terms of their values, lifestyles and aesthetic preferences. It is therefore impossible to deduce a person’s milieu from their culture of origin.

The study was the focus of much attention within the scientific and media discourse, as it draws a highly differentiated picture of people from migrant backgrounds and gets rid of many common clichés about this group. For instance, it revealed that:

  • the influence of religious traditions  among migrants is often overestimated. 
  • the willingness to achieve and climb the social ladder is far more defined among the migrant population than among the indigenous population. 
  • the degree to which migrants have adapted and their status at the centre of society are underestimated.
  • a lack of integration is most evident in the lower-class milieus, which is no different to the indigenous German population.

Your contacts for the Sinus-Migranten-Milieus:

Dr. Silke Borgstedt - Direktorin Sozialforschung
E-Mail: silke.borgstedt(at)
Telefon: +49 6221 8089-35

Berthold Bodo Flaig - Geschäftsführer
E-Mail: bodo.flaig(at)
Telefon: +49 6221 8089-17