Bertelsmann Stiftung (ed.)

Social Cohesion in Germany 2017

English Summary

Format Type
Date of publication
1. edition
8 pages, PDF


Free of charge


Despite all the dire predictions, Germany continues to exhibit a high level of social cohesion. Even the country’s growing cultural and religious diversity is not at odds with its degree of togetherness. Yet, there are clear indications of potential threats: for example, the generally perceived lack of social justice and the gaping cleavage in togetherness between east and west as well as between structurally weak regions and such that are flourishing. To that end, cohesion is much weaker in Germany’s eastern federal states than its western ones. The federal states with the highest levels of cohesion are Saarland, Baden-Württemberg, and Bavaria.

These are the core findings from the Social Cohesion Radar (SCR, the complete book is only available in German), for which Bertelsmann Stiftung collected fresh data in 2017 by surveying more than 5,000 people throughout the country. The goal was to examine cohesion in terms of its strengths, weaknesses, causes, and effects. For this empirical study, social cohesion is defined as the quality of communal life and is viewed as a multidimensional phenomenon. High levels of cohesion result from strong social relations, a positive feeling of connectedness to the community, and a strong focus on the common good.

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Cover Social Cohesion

We measure social cohesion, thus providing a better understanding of current societal trends. We help communities activate their potential in strengthening cohesion and foster partnerships that improve communal life.