From Migrants to Workers: Immigrants’ role in local labour markets in the Nordic region

Over the past few decades the scale of international migration into the Nordic countries has increased considerably. The percent foreign-born of the total population in several of the Nordic countries exceeds that of traditional migration destination states such as the United States and Australia. While many of these recent arrivals migrate to the capital cities and other large urban areas of the Nordic countries, there has been increased migration to rural and sparsely populated areas of the Nordic region and the role of these new arrivals into these areas is not well known.

The quantitative analysis of this project examines the scale of immigration into the Nordic countries by country of origin, gender, level of education, and other characteristics. It looks at the scale of immigration by region with a focus on the more sparsely-populated areas of the Nordic region.

Case studies from six rather remote, rural regions across the Nordics provide a more qualitative assessment of the role of these new immigrants in local labour markets with labour shortages and population decline. A central aim is to compare the measures taken to improve the long-term integration of labour migrants and their families, and refugees, into social networks and labour markets – and to identify and spread good practices.