What is the Expats & Spouses Monitor?

It is a research project that aims to understand the living and working conditions of expatriates and their spouses or partners in Germany.

The Expats & Spouses Monitor collects comprehensive information useful for companies, organisations working with expatriates, policymakers, and academics. Our motivation is to generate insights that help stakeholders to implement policies  that improve the integration of international talent.

Nowadays, when the conversation revolves around talent shortage and the search for diversity, relying on comprehensive information about expats and their partners offers companies the unique opportunity to make the most of talented people already living in Germany.

Who is an “expat”?

With the word “expat” we mean a foreign citizen legally established in Germany. We do not only focus on
foreign employees relocated by their company, but also on self-initiated expatriates who
have moved to Germany for a different reason than a corporate assignment.

We also include the expatriates’ partners, the so-called “trailing spouses”. In comparison to expats, there
is little information about them, despite the key role they play in career- and family-related decisions.

Expats’ partners
face particular challenges that are worth exploring separately.

What areas of information do we collect?

Our survey was designed following a thorough process that ensured high standards of the information collected. If you want to know more about our questionnaire and our methodological process, click here.

We have gathered information about the following areas:

 Work and Occupational Situation

 Personal and Family Life

Career and Career Development

Opinion about Germany and their city

 Social Life and Integration


What kind of analyses does
the Expats & Spouses Monitor enable?

  • Is the level of work and life satisfaction the same for expats and for their spouses?
  • Which company benefits for expats really work? Which don’t (despite what companies believe)?
  • What do expats value most while living in Germany? Is it the same for spouses?
  • Are German cities equally attractive for expats?…and for their spouses?
  • Are men and women living in Germany equally satisfied with their career?



  • Are all expats the same? Or are there identifiable clusters?
  • Is nationality the only key variable for grouping expats? What other variables are relevant?
  • What about expats’ spouses? What do they share and how do they differ?
  • How do relocation packages affect expat satisfaction?
  • Are dual-career couples more likely to stay in Germany?
  • Does the educational level of an expat’s spouse affect his/her experience of expatriation?
  • What are the key drivers of a decision to leave or to stay in Germany?
    Are they the same for expats and for their spouses?