Settling In: OECD Indicators of Immigrant Integration 2012

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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.  

English Also available in: French, German


The socio-economic characteristics of the household maintainers (notably the household financial resources) as well as the household size and composition are some of the key determinants of housing conditions. Household preferences (notably in terms of geographical location and intentions to settle in the country of destination) also play a key role. Even when families can afford a suitable accommodation, they may choose to give priority to other aspects of their lives (children’s education, proximity to cultural services, etc.). This is notably the case for immigrants contemplating a return to their country of origin and to an even greater extent for those aspiring to property ownership there.Housing conditions are expected to vary with the migrant’s category of entry. Family reunification is generally contingent on means, if not always on minimum requirements in terms of surface area and/or the number of rooms available or sanitary conditions. Recent immigrants, especially those arriving under extreme conditions, or those with no family or social networks in their new surroundings, have a stronger likelihood of ending up in substandard housing.Housing supply and prices are also key in shaping housing conditions. The possibility of benefitting from social housing or housing subsidies can contribute substantially to reducing the housing cost or improving the adequacy of the dwelling with the size of the household. The requirements to access social housing and housing benefits generally involve household size and disposable income. Applications are generally treated in order of submission and therefore recent immigrants generally have low priority. Finally, the lack of information on the renting system, the existence of discrimination by landlords against immigrant families as well as inequalities in access to credit are among the reasons for which immigrants are more exposed to inadequate housing conditions than the rest of the population.Three indicators are presented in this chapter: the tenure status (Indicator), the physical description of the dwelling (Indicator) and the cost of housing (Indicator). For a discussion on these indicators, refer to the section Measurement at the end of this chapter.

English Also available in: French, German


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