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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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Income of immigrant households

Income is a decisive factor in determining many socio-economic outcomes. A variety of studies have shown, for example, that a higher level of income is associated with better health and education, and greater civic participation and social cohesion. In contrast, poverty adversely affects the well-being of immigrants in the host society in many ways, such as poor housing and inhibited skills development. Beyond poverty itself, inequitable distribution of income can lead to marginalisation and damage social cohesion.People’s levels of income are largely shaped by their employment status. Their labour market outcomes and the nature of the job they hold are important determinants of income, as labour earnings themselves account for the bulk of family incomes in the OECD and in the EU. The degree to which income can provide a decent living is affected by many other socio-demographic factors, such as the number of children and their ages, and the availability of social transfers that help to even out income inequalities.This chapter considers four indicators. It looks first at household disposable income () and the overall risk of poverty (). Because having a job does not necessarily fully protect against poverty, the third indicator focuses on the risk of poverty among workers (). Last, the fourth indicator considers the risk of financial exclusion –i.e. not having a bank account or having one that is overdrawn ().For further discussion of issues raised by the indicators considered, see the section entitled Data limitations at the end of the chapter.

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