From Migrants to Workers: International migration trends in the Nordic countries

The populations of the Nordic countries are ageing, and to maintain economic growth there is a need to increase immigration and have these newcomers play a substantial role in the labour markets at the national and regional levels.

This paper is one of several outputs of a project called From Migrants to Workers: Immigrants’ Role in Local Labour Markets in the Nordic Region for the 2013–2016 Nordic Working Group on Demography and Welfare (Nordregio, 2016). This paper analyses data on recent migration flows into the Nordic countries. Another working paper analysed case studies of the process of integration in selected Nordic regions (Harbo, Heleniak, & Hildestrand, 2017). The paper also provides additional detail for the chapter on migration in the State of the Nordic Region 2018 report.

The paper starts by examining migration trends into the Nordic countries over recent decades, examining migration as a component of population change, immigration and emigration, net migration by citizenship, net migration by sex, immigration by country of origin, total population of foreign origin, foreign-born people by age, reasons for migration, and flows of refugees and asylum seekers. The conclusions concern the implications of the integration of recent flows.