Working Together for Local Integration of Migrants and Refugees in Vienna

Published on July 26, 2018

Fast population growth in the city of Vienna is largely related to international migration.  Long-standing migrant communities represent half of Vienna’s population. In 2016, 50% of the inhabitants had migrant backgrounds, and since 2015, the number of refugees and asylum seekers in the city has increased. Since 1971, the city has developed dedicated administrative structures and local policies for migrants. A dedicated municipal unit (MA17) oversees how departments achieve migration-sensitive standards in their respective policy fields and produces the yearly Vienna Integration and Diversity monitoring report. A good practice is “Start Wien”,  a comprehensive coaching and information programme addressing newcomers (including asylum seekers) for the first two years after arrival. After that, foreign residents benefit from non-targeted measures, for instance from a programme fighting labour market exclusion of low-skilled groups. Vienna has avoided high segregation due to its large and well spread social housing. However migrants can only access it after five years of residency in the city, before which they rely on private rental market. Vienna establishes close contacts with migrant associations and NGOs at the district level and engages public consultations when formulating integration concepts. This report sheds light on how the municipality and non-state partners work together with the other levels of government for sustainable migrant and refugee integration.


Abbreviations and acronyms
Executive summary
Key data on migrant presence and integration in Vienna
Background and governance of migrant integration2 chapters available
Migration insights: Flows, stocks and nationalities
Vienna's well-being and inclusion
Objectives for effectively integrating migrants and refugees at the local level9 chapters available
Objectives for effectively integrating migrants and refugees at the local level
Block 1. Multi-level governance: Institutional and financial settings
Block 2. Time and space: Keys for migrants and host communities to live together
Block 3. Local capacity for policy formulation and implementation
Block 4. Sectoral policies related to the integration
List of experts interviewed during the OECD site visit, 18-19 January 2017
Overview of integration concepts and regulations at national and city level
Division of competencies between levels of government
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Working Together for Local Integration of Migrants and Refugees was launched at OECD Headquarters on April 18th, 2018. This Case Study of Vienna highlights the need for more reliable sources of financing and dialogue among levels of government. 




The integration of migrants is one of the most formidable tasks policy makers in OECD countries face. The sheer scale of migration necessitates a concerted effort to make integration a success. If integrated successfully, migrants can contribute to host countries in multiple ways, not least of all, economically. At the same time, integrating migrants and refugees can be challenging, especially because they constitute highly diverse groups, consisting of different genders, ages, cultural backgrounds with different motivations, skill sets, educational levels and experience. 

This data visualisation tool allows you to compare regions on a number of issues relating to migrant integration, including reception numbers, length of stay, education level, skills and employment statistics.‌

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Find out more about OECD work on territorial approaches to migrant integration

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