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Settling In: OECD Indicators of Immigrant Integration 2012

image of Settling In: OECD Indicators of Immigrant Integration 2012

This publication highlights how immigrants and their children are integrating into OECD societies, judging their progress against key indicators. Many areas are considered (material living conditions, health, education, labour market, civic engagement) as integration is a multi-dimensional issue. Measures of outcomes, as well as of progress made over the past decade, are presented in comparison with outcomes of a reference group (the population born in the country of residence). Three series of questions are addressed: 1) To what extent does the average performance of immigrants differ from that of the native-born?; 2) Can these differences be explained by structural effects (different distributions by age, educational level, etc.)?; 3) How has integration record evolved over the past decade?

An introductory chapter provides a detailed description of the populations under review (foreign-born persons and households, as well as native-born offspring of immigrants). The final chapter gives an overview on discrimination issues, as this is one possible source of persistent disadvantages of immigrants and their children.  

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Household income

Household income and wealth have been shown to be important for a broad range of socio-economic outcomes, in areas as diverse as health, education and civic participation. Having insufficient income may hamper migrants’ ability to function as autonomous citizens and have consequences on social cohesion. Beyond absolute income levels, household income distribution determines the extent to which some vulnerable groups, such as some immigrant households, are at risk of being left behind.Participation in the labour market is the most important determinant of the level of household income. Labour earnings constitute by far the highest share of household income, some 75% in the OECD. Household income is strongly driven by the socio-demographic characteristics of household members, in particular the education and skills of the adults, the total number of children and the presence of young children, which may reduce the participation of women in the labour market. At the same time, social transfers as well as income and wealth taxes contribute to reshaping income distribution.Two indicators are presented in this chapter: the household disposable income distribution (Indicator); the risk of poverty (Indicator). For a discussion on these indicators, refer to the section "Measurement" at the end of this chapter.

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