Cite JOURNAL ARTICLE
Discussion: Income Security of Elderly Migrants in Germany
Journal of Contextual Economics – Schmollers Jahrbuch, Vol. 120 (2000), Iss. 2 : pp. 275–289
The immigrants who entered Central Europe during post-war economic expansions are now reaching retirement ages. Contrary to initial expectations, many have remained and are now facing old age in their adopted countries. The economic status of these aging immigrants is an important challenge facing many of the EU countries in the twenty-first century. This paper examines the income of older immigrants in Germany and compares their economic status to that of the native-born population. This first view of the well-being of immigrants in retirement provides a glimpse of problems that may emerge in the twenty-first century.
The analysis indicates that the income of immigrants aged 50 and older is 25 to 30 percent less than the native-born population. Among households with husbands aged 50 to 59, income is lower primarily due to lower monthly labor earnings while income differences in households aged 60 and over are attributable to lower pension income. Both of these findings reflect current and past work histories, differential employment patterns, and lower hourly earnings for German immigrants. Additional research is needed to further examine the reasons that elderly immigrants have lower incomes than native-born Germans and whether this difference will continue into the twenty-first century. Finally, it is also important to determine whether the experience of immigrants in other EU countries is similar to that of immigrants in Germany.