Immigrant students in the cooking class at the Finnish Diaconia College in Helsinki. LEHTIKUVA


Approximately half of the adult immigrant population in Finland's capital region has moved to the country for work or study purposes, or as the spouse of someone who did. This trend significantly influences their integration and living conditions, according to the recent MoniSuomi 2022 study.

The MoniSuomi 2022 research, which utilized extensive survey and interview data, has provided the first comprehensive insight into the primary reasons why immigrants have moved to the Helsinki metropolitan area.

About one-quarter of these immigrants came for employment, slightly more than one-tenth for education, and nearly one-tenth as the spouse of a worker or student. Refugees and their family members constitute around one-fifth of the immigrant population. Other reasons for moving include a wide range of life circumstances, such as marrying someone of Finnish descent.

The MoniSuomi 2022 study reveals that those who migrated for work have the most favorable employment outcomes, evident not only in their employment rates but also in the quality of their jobs. Proficiency in Finnish or Swedish is crucial for securing employment, yet many have managed to find jobs without knowing either language.

Across all immigrant groups, men have better employment prospects than women, with the largest gender disparity seen among refugees. Refugees also face more frequent challenges in various aspects of life compared to other groups.

A significant number of employed immigrants secured their jobs through social connections and networks or direct contact with employers. However, many believe that the lack of relationships with the native population has hindered their employment opportunities.

Many immigrants in the capital region suffer from a lack of friends or the experience of loneliness. Discrimination is unfortunately common, occurring not only in public places but also in the workplace.

The MoniSuomi 2022 study, conducted by THL with funding from the cities of Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, and Turku, as well as the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, focused on foreign-born residents aged 20–74. It examined living conditions, life situations, health, well-being, and service experiences. Data collection took place from September 2022 to March 2023 through online forms, paper questionnaires, and telephone interviews.

This research underscores the need for ongoing efforts to understand the perceptions and experiences of immigrants in Finland, ensuring that policies and support systems effectively address their unique challenges and needs.


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