Social Indicators Research

, Volume 124, Issue 3, pp 947–961 | Cite as

Immigrants’ Sense of Belonging to the Host Country: The Role of Life Satisfaction, Language Proficiency, and Religious Motives

  • Karin AmitEmail author
  • Shirly Bar-Lev


This paper focuses on a significant concept in migration studies: immigrants’ sense of belonging to the host society. Drawing upon the literature of immigration and subjective well-being, we proposed a model in which life satisfaction is a major predictor of immigrants’ sense of belonging, and is explained by background variables including religious affiliation, religious motivation, native language proficiency and ethnic segregation. The study was based on a survey of two groups of highly skilled migrants in Israel; immigrants from France and the Former Soviet Union who moved to Israel in the last two decades. The findings suggest that, as expected, life satisfaction had a significant influence on immigrants’ sense of belonging and served as a mediator variable in the model. Whereas ethnic segregation was not found to be a significant parameter in the model, religious motivation and Hebrew language proficiency were found to be prominent. In light of the literature, we also discuss the importance of religious motivations to immigrants’ subjective well-being, identity, and sense of belonging.


Migration Sense of belonging Identity Life satisfaction Religious motives 



This study was supported by the Institute for Immigration and Social Integration at Ruppin Academic Center and by AMI Association.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Business Administration and the Institute for Immigration and Social IntegrationRuppin Academic CenterEmek HeferIsrael
  2. 2.The Department of EngineeringRuppin Academic CenterEmek HeferIsrael

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