Book Chapter

Studying migrant assimilation through Facebook interests

Dubois, A., Zagheni, E., Garimella, K., Weber, I. G.
In: Staab, S., Koltsova, O., Ignatov, D. I. (Eds.): Social Informatics: 10th International Conference, SocInfo 2018, St. Petersburg, Russia, September 25-28, 2018, Proceedings, Part II, 51–60
Lecture notes in computer science 11186
Cham, Springer (2018)


Migrant assimilation is a major challenge for European societies, in part because of the sudden surge of refugees in recent years and in part because
of long-term demographic trends. In this paper, we use Facebook data for advertisers to study the levels of assimilation of Arabic-speaking migrants in Germany, as seen through the interests they express online. Our results indicate a gradient of assimilation along demographic lines, language spoken and country of origin. Given the difficulty to collect timely migration data, in particular for traits related to cultural assimilation, the methods that we develop and the results that we provide open new lines of research that computational social scientists are well-positioned to address.

The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.