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Indicators of Immigrant Integration 2015

Settling In

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This joint publication by the OECD and the European Commission presents the first broad international comparison across all EU and OECD countries of the outcomes for immigrants and their children, through 27 indicators organised around five areas: Employment, education and skills, social inclusion, civic engagement and social cohesion (Chapters 5 to 12). Three chapters present detailed contextual information (demographic and immigrant-specific) for immigrants and immigrant households (Chapters 2 to 4). Two special chapters are dedicated to specific groups. The first group is that of young people with an immigrant background, whose outcomes are often seen as the benchmark for the success or failure of integration. The second group are third-country nationals in the European Union, who are the target of EU integration policy.

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Immigrants and housing

Housing conditions depend on such circumstances as financial resources and family size. Immigrants’ housing conditions, too, are very much dictated by circumstances, including the category of entry to which they belong.Migrants who arrive to join their family benefit, in theory, from already having suitable accommodation on arrival, since the requirements governing family reunification in most countries set minimum thresholds for resources, space, and/or number of rooms. Those who arrive in other circumstances, by contrast, may have neither the money to rent nor the time to find decent accommodation. Market forces – property prices and the standard of housing available at those prices – indeed restrict the choice of accommodation available to immigrants who on average have lower incomes. A further risk to which immigrants are more exposed is that of finding themselves in substandard housing – partly because they are often less informed about the rental market and partly because it is harder for them to borrow money. They may also be discriminated against by landlords. Social housing and housing benefits may be the way into bigger homes of a higher standard, but immigrant households in need may not necessarily be eligible to such assistance and applications can take a long time to process before new arrivals can move in.This chapter considers four housing indicators: housing tenure (), the share of overcrowded housing (), and more global housing conditions (), as well as housing costs (). The section entitled Data limitations at the end of the chapter discusses some of the issues raised by these indicators.

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