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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Social cohesion and immigrants

The nature of the relationship between a host society and its immigrant population is a critical factor in integration. If such social cohesion is strong, it will promote integration. If it is weak, immigrants will find it harder to fit in. Social cohesion is hard to measure but can, however, be estimated from certain kinds of information produced by satisfaction surveys.Discrimination against immigrants is one factor that can have a deeply adverse impact on social cohesion, thought its real extent is hard to quantify. It is essential to measure discrimination on the grounds of ethnicity, race or nationality, however, because it undermines immigrants’ willingness to invest in education and training, which are the best ways to improve the integration process. Opinion polls are a means of assessing the levels of discrimination that immigrant populations perceive ().Social cohesion can also be measured by analysing the host country’s degree of acceptance of immigration. A high level of acceptance will indirectly promote the conditions for successful integration – if the immigrant population is welcomed, it will be better able to contribute to the life of the community. This report assesses acceptance by gauging public opinion of its perceived impact and with respect to the perceived local conditions for immigrant settlement ().The section entitled Data limitations at the end of the chapter discusses in detail the social cohesion indicators and the issues they raise.

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