Study: Successful integration not just down to one factor

Study, work, earnings potential and the host community are all factors in whether a foreign can successfully integrate into Finland

File photo of young people / Credit: iStock

A new study published by the Ministry of Economy Affairs and Employment finds that just having a job on its own is not a good indication of successful integration by foreigners in Finland.

In fact, the study shows there isn’t only one single factor that guarantees successful integration.

“Integration as a phenomenon covers multiple dimensions and factors, and involves participation from both the receiving society and the immigrants themselves” explains Sonja Hämäläinen, Migration Director at the ministry.

“The receptiveness of working life affects the employment opportunities of immigrants, and conversely, employment affects the social participation of immigrants, which is an important contributor to successful integration” she says.

Negative findings in the workplace 

The new study finds that international students and students with immigrant backgrounds are able to repay the investment in their education after graduation.

However, immigrants have to send out many more applications than Finns before getting called to an interview; and the earnings levels of highly educated immigrants or people with immigrant backgrounds is “significantly below those of Finns.”

The new research points out that individual characteristics of immigrants like education level or language skills are not enough to explain these trends, but rather it’s down to broader issues involving immigration policy and the attitudes of Finnish society.

The the end of 2018 there were approximately 400,000 people with an immigrant background living in Finland, and migration numbers have been steadily rising since the 1990s – and it’s expected to continue.