The vast majority of Ukrainian refugees currently residing in Germany do not intend to return to their home country immediately after the war, the latest polling has revealed.
In a survey conducted by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), just 34 percent of respondents revealed they would go home immediately after the war.
Around 2 percent said they planned to remain in Germany for at least a year after the end of the conflict, while 11 percent revealed their intention to stay in German for “a few more years.”
Significantly, more than a quarter (26 percent) of respondents said they had no plans to return to Ukraine and wanted to remain in Germany indefinitely.
More than 1 million Ukrainian refugees have moved to Germany since war broke out in the country in February last year. Recent figures suggest a total of 1,055,323 as of Feb. 15, 2023, a figure lower only than Poland with 1.55 million recorded refugees and Russia with 2.85 million refugees.
Despite being well educated — 72 percent of adults reportedly have a university degree — just 4 percent of respondents reported having a good knowledge of the German language, although half are attending language courses.
Furthermore, just 17 percent of working-age Ukrainians have found employment in Germany.
The BAMF study revealed that three-quarters of Ukrainian refugees currently reside in private accommodations, while 9 percent are living in refugee shelters and 17 percent in hotels.
Approximately 80 percent of adult refugees from Ukraine are women, of which three-quarters arrived in Germany without a partner. Around 48 percent of said women arrived with child dependents.
The state of health among Ukrainian refugees is generally regarded as good, but their life satisfaction is significantly lower compared to the German population.
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“The psychological well-being of refugee children is also low compared to other children living in Germany,” the report states.
The most popular reason for Ukrainian refugees opting to head to Germany was because of the country’s “respect for human rights.” Other reasons cited by respondents include the country’s welfare system, its education system, and the fact they consider Germany to be a welcoming, tolerant country.
The results come at a time when local authorities in Germany are reporting to the federal government that their social services are saturated, and many local authorities have pushed back against further plans to accommodate even more immigrants.
“There is a lack of apartments, daycare places, teachers for schools and language courses. This is one of the reasons why social tensions are increasing,” warned Reinhard Sager, the president of the German District Association, earlier this month.
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The tide of public opinion is also swiftly turning against the federal government’s liberal asylum policy. A survey conducted by the INSA opinion research institute for the newspaper Bild am Sonntag revealed 51 percent of Germans think the country is accepting too many refugees.
German tenants in the town of Lörrach in southern Germany were informed this month that their apartment contracts were to be terminated and they would be evicted to make way for Ukrainian refugees.
The current state of play led Germany’s conservative Alternative for Germany (AfD) leader, Alice Weidel, to call for the government to close the border last month, insisting the country’s welfare state is under severe threat due to mass migration.