Immigrants experience discrimination in Finland, especially based on their origin and ethnicity

Publication date 19.3.2024 2.00 | Published in English on 21.3.2024 at 12.35
News item

Of the adult population that have moved to Finland, 42 per cent reported having been discriminated against during the previous year, and as many as 75 per cent of them estimated that the discrimination had been based on their origin, ethnicity or skin colour. The result was revealed by THL’s MoniSuomi study.

Experiences of discrimination based on origin, ethnicity or skin colour were most frequently reported by men and women who have moved to Finland from Africa and men who have moved to Finland from the Middle East and North Africa. Of them, the share of those experiencing discrimination on these grounds was about 40 per cent during the year preceding the survey. 

Experiences of discrimination based on age and gender were less common among immigrants than the entire population. For example, four per cent of immigrant women had experienced discrimination based on gender during the previous year, compared with eight per cent of women in the whole population. Age and gender are the most common causes of discrimination experienced at the whole population level in Finland. 

Discrimination can be combated by strengthening the work to promote non-discrimination

“The results of the study show that people living in Finland experience discrimination for a wide variety of reasons. This makes it important to strengthen the understanding of discrimination and work to promote non-discrimination in various sectors of society”, says Anu Castaneda, Research Professor, Immigration and Cultural Diversity at THL.

“Experiences of discrimination reduce individuals’ and groups’ welfare, feelings of safety and sense of belonging to Finnish society. Particularly discrimination based on origin, ethnicity and skin colour can be combated by strengthening an anti-racist approach at different levels of society”, Castaneda continues. 

The MoniSuomi survey examined the health, well-being and experiences of social welfare and health care services of the foreign-born adult population living in Finland in 2022. The survey was responded to by 7,838 people who were themselves or whose parents were born outside Finland. 

The MoniSuomi survey received funding from the Centre of Expertise in Immigrant Integration of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and the cities of Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa and Turku, and the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF).  

Further information

Phenomenon reports and indicator data of the MoniSuomi 2022 study (experiences of discrimination and grounds for discrimination)

National study on the health, welfare and services of foreign-born population (MoniSuomi) 

Online course on anti-racism for professionals 

Migration and Cultural Diversity website 

Anu Castaneda
Research Professor
tel. +358 29 524 7848
[email protected] 

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