A customer entering the Finnish Immigration Service office in Helsinki. LEHTIKUVA


According to a study conducted by the Finnish Business and Policy Forum (EVA), over half of Finns consider Finland's geographical location, proximity to Russia, cost of living, and taxation as barriers to immigration. The findings were derived from EVA's Values and Attitudes Study, which presented a list of 26 factors that could either attract or hinder immigration to the country.

From the perspective of policymakers, issues that can be influenced through policy measures are of greater interest than Finland's geographical location and weather conditions.

In terms of societal issues, Finns perceive the cost of living and taxation as the primary barriers to immigration, with 52 percent considering them as obstacles.

"Finns believe that the overall combination of taxation and standard of living does not attract immigrants to Finland. Instead, it makes potential arrivals think twice about whether Finland is the best possible destination for those seeking employment opportunities. Half of Finns find the country's tax system too stringent," said Sami Metelinen, EVA's Managing Editor, who conducted the result analysis.

In 2021, Finland had the fifth-highest tax rate among OECD countries, with a tax burden of 43 percent, compared to the OECD average of 34 percent. The cost of living in Finland was higher than the OECD average, while the average wage level was lower than the OECD average in 2021.

As factors that could attract immigrants, Finns identified the Finnish nature, societal safety and stability, quality of living environment, Finnish public services and social benefits, as well as the Finnish education system.

The results are based on responses from 2,043 individuals, with a margin of error of 2-3 percentage points in both directions at the population level. The data was collected from January 31 to February 13, 2023. The respondents represented the 18-79-year-old population of the entire country, excluding Åland. The data was collected through an internet panel maintained by Taloustutkimus Oy, with a stratified random sample selection. The data was weighted to represent the population based on age, gender, residential area, education, occupation or status, industry, and political affiliation. The statistical analysis and result graphics were conducted by Pentti Kiljunen (Yhdyskuntatutkimus Oy). The results, including detailed breakdowns by population groups, can be found on EVA's website. EVA's Values and Attitudes Studies have been conducted since 1984.