Nils Witte


I am sociologist and Senior Researcher at the Federal Institute for Population Research in Wiesbaden, Germany. I am associate member of the Institute of Sociology and member of the Institute for Empirical-Analytical Research at Goethe-University Frankfurt. My research interests include migration, ethnic and social stratification, citizenship, and immigrant integration.

Earlier, I was interim professor at the Goethe-University of Frankfurt and postdoc at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. I received my PhD from the Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences at Bremen University where I was Doctoral Fellow and grantee from 2011-2015. During my doctoral research, I also was DAAD-funded visiting student at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. In my dissertation I investigated processes of boundary negotiation in immigrant societies.


June 2024 - New preprint that investigates the participation of EU-migrants in European Parliament elections 2019. Their turnout is much lower than among EU-citizens who have since returned to their country of citizenship. This is surprising given their above average emotional attachment with the EU. Apparently, bureaucratic hurdles hamper external voting. Rules for external voting must be simplified and deadlines should be harmonised across the EU. See also our article in the LSE-EUROPP blog. Joint work with Emanuel Deutschmann. [preprint] [blog article]


April 2024 - Back to BiB after two semesters of teaching sociology at Goethe-University Frankfurt as interim professor at the Chair of Markus Gangl. I stay connected to Goethe-University as an associate member of the Institute of Sociology and member of the Institute for Empirical-Analytical Research (InFER). Big thank you to my colleagues and students in Frankfurt for a stimulating and enriching year.


February 2024 - Call for Papers. Spring Meeting of the Section Migration and Ethnic Minorities of the German Sociological Association. When? 25-26 April 2024. Where? Online. Send your abstract by 10 March. [CfP] [program]


November 2023 - Vorstandsmitglied und stellvertretender Sprecher der Sektion Migration und ethnische Minderheiten in der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie.


September 2023 - Research stay at the European Research Center on Migration and Ethnic Relations (ERCOMER). Thanks for hosting me Floris Peters and Marcel Lubbers.


August 2023 - New article: How has Covid-19 affected return migration of Germans living abroad? We find a moderate association between incidence/mortality and return migration. Joint work with Andreas Ette and Nikola Sander. [download] [preprint]


July 2023 - Symposiums-Beitrag. Für die Soziologische Revue durfte ich neben Rainer Bauböck und Bettina Kohlrausch das Buch 'Exit' von Thomas Faist kommentieren, in dem es um die Wechselwirkungen zwischen globaler sozialer Ungleichheit und internationaler Migration geht. Danke Andreas Genoni und Thomas Laux für den Austausch zum Text. [download]


May 2023 - New article: Who blames Brexit for their decision to leave the UK? We investigate how the xenophobic climate around the Brexit referendum affected German return migrants. Joint work with Nico Stawarz. [download] [preprint]


April 2023 - In diesem Podcast sprechen Katja Urbatsch von und ich mit Katja Patzwald über die Befunde der Studie "Career start abroad. The implications of graduate migration for social inequality", die ich mit gemeinsam Nico Stawarz und Nicolai Netz veröffentlicht habe. [BiB] [Spotify]


April 2023 - I joined the Institute of Sociology at Goethe University of Frankfurt as an interim professor at the Chair of Sociology, Social Stratification and Social Policy (Markus Gangl).


January 2023 - New article on international school to work transitions of higher education graduates. Do they benefit in terms of wages? What are the implications for social inequality? Joint research with Nico Stawarz and Nicolai Netz. [download]


October 2022 - We are organizing a conference to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB) on 3-5 July 2023. My colleague Elisabeth Kraus and I organise "Strand 2: Internal Mobility and International Migration Across the Life Course". Find more information [here].


July 2022 - The Scientific-Use-File Wave 3 of the German Emigration and Remigration Panel Study is now available through the GESIS data archive. The documentation is available through the Federal Institute for Population Studies. [data] [documentation]


January 2022 – New article about incentive effects on participation in probability-based online panels published in Social Science Computer Review. Low combined incentives (€5/€5) and high conditional incentives (€20) are most effective in enhancing panel participation. Thanks to my co-authors Ines Schaurer, Jette Schröder, Jean P. Décieux, and Andreas Ette. [download] [preprint]

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October 2021 – New preprint on the consequences of Brexit for return migration of high-skilled migrants. Our findings indicate that Brexit may have the unintended consequence of driving out skilled and socio-culturally more integrated migrants who had been livingin the UK for several years. Joint work with Nico Stawarz. [download]

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July 2021 – German summary of my research on changing wage inequality // Deutschsprachige Zusammenfassung meiner Forschung zur Veränderung der Lohnungleichheit in Deutschland; Danke Tomma Schröder! [here].

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May 2021 – New Open Access Book. The contributions to this edited volume illuminate the social structure of migrants from a developed welfare state and individual consequences of migration across the life course. With contributions by Ette, Erlinghagen, N. F. Schneider, Baykara-Krumme, Pollak, Sander, Fauser, G. Wagner and many others. Get your free copy of the e-book [here]. // Ein deutschsprachiges Interview zum Sammelband gibt es [hier].


March 2021 – Ich freue mich, am Integrationsmonitoring des Bundes mitgewirkt zu haben. Danke an Martin Weinmann für die Koordination. Ein Gemeinschaftsprojekt von BiB und DeZIM im Auftrag der Integrationsbeauftragten der Bundesregierung. [download]


March 2021 – Unser Kapitel im Datenreport 2021 liefert erstmals Informationen zur Sozialstruktur deutscher Auswanderer auf Basis von GERPS. Danke Andreas Ette, Andreas Genoni und für die Koordination am BiB Uta Brehm und Martin Bujard. [download], Kap. 8.6