Survey of subjective experiences of discrimination


Initial results from test questions in the 2016 SOEP Innovation Sample

- Factsheet on the research project -

Frequency of experiences of discrimination

  • The proportion of survey respondents reporting some form of discrimination against them with respect to at least one ground in the AGG lies at 13.1 per cent overall. If experiences of discrimination are considered that do not correspond with any of the criteria included within the AGG’s scope of protection (e.g. social status), then the proportion of respondents having experienced discrimination rises to 16.1 per cent.
  • The results offer significant indication of structural discrimination against particular subgroups of the population. For instance, women are about four times as likely to report gender-based discrimination (5.2 per cent) as men (1.2 per cent).
  • In addition, some subgroups are shown to experience a higher risk of discrimination overall: People with a severe disability or reduction in earning capacity, for instance, not only report discrimination based on a specific disability, but also of discrimination as a whole (independent of any particular ground of discrimination).

Experiences of discrimination in selected areas of life

  • The areas of life most applicable to the AGG are also named as those with the most experiences of discrimination: Just under half (48.5 per cent) of those affected by discrimination report being discriminated against in their working life, while 35.1 per cent report discrimination against them in terms of access to businesses or services.
  • Based on the type of survey, no statements can be made on the frequency of experiences of discrimination on specific grounds in individual areas of life. Here the test questions should be developed further.

Correlation with life satisfaction and well-being

  • Initial assessments indicate that respondents with experiences of discrimination on average rate their own life satisfaction and state of health considerably lower than people without experiences of discrimination.
  • Future analyses must demonstrate to what extent these correlations hold up when controlling for other potential factors.