Nordregio News 3 2016: Migration and integration

The old age dependency rate is a ticking time bomb that threatens to blow the Nordic welfare model into pieces. Old age dependency rates are rising across the Nordic countries as in most parts of Europe. Due to a selective outmigration of young people towards the cities, the dependency rates are particularly high in rural municipalities, where access to healthcare services is one of the major issues. This issue of Nordregio News focuses on recent migration flows and the Nordic societies’ readiness to welcome the newcomers.

Full and successful integration at different levels requires more efforts in match-making between the Nordic labour market needs and the skills of the immigrants. Validation of skills seems in this regard to be especially problematic in some sectors (e.g. health). But first and foremost we need a change in atmosphere and attitudes. The inflow of immigrants and refugees should be seen more as a resource than a problem.