MPIDR Working Paper

Exclusion through statistical invisibility. An exploration on what can be known through publicly available datasets on irregular migration and the health status of this population in Germany

MPIDR Working Paper WP-2020-009, 26 pages.
Rostock, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (February 2020)
Open Access


This working paper offers an overview on the availability of data on irregular migration in Germany. Precisely, it critically describes the main data sources available, indicating that it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to conduct an accurate assessment of the dimensions of irregular migration as a social phenomenon in the country, the characteristics and challenges faced by this population, and the extent to which their rights are protected with the data currently available. Second, it further discusses how the lack of data on irregular migrants makes it particularly challenging to monitor specific outcomes, such as their health conditions. The final section of the document provides an overview on future prospects for the study of irregular migration in Germany, underlining the need to develop new data sources that focus on this population.

Keywords: Germany, health, health policy, illegal migration, international migration, mental health
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.