Female immigrants integrate less successfully than men

Children of immigrantsChildren Photo. pixabay.com

The integration of female immigrants into introductory programs is far worse than for men, shows recent figures from Statistics Norway (Statistisk sentralbyrå – SSB).


According to SSB, the introduction scheme is the largest integration policy measure ever undertaken in Norway, it is the state’s integration tool number one. It’s become apparent that, contrary to the government’s intention, women fare from the scheme more poorly than men.

When Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Høyre (H) presented the Government’s Outlook Report at the end of March, she stressed that women and immigrants must work more than they currently do to fund the welfare state of the future.

‘Our welfare society relies on more work effort from all those who work less than average. The potential is greatest among immigrant women’, she stressed.

The fresh statistics show that only half of the women are in work or education one year after completion of the introduction program, and the trend is also moving in the wrong direction.

In 2015, 49% were in employment or education, while in 2013 and 2014 the percentages were 52 and 50% respectively. According to Statistics Norway, the youngest women do better than those who are older.

Tripled participation still hasn’t helped

The number of participants on the scheme has almost tripled since 2005, and six out of ten people who have participated are in work or education after completion of the program.

Developing and integrating are the purposes of the scheme.

The report states that men under the age of 30 reached the politicians’ target of at least 70% becoming active in the labour or education markets. But among women, the figure is 50%.

The percentage of women and men participating in the program is steady and most are under 35. Age distribution between women and men is similar.

What kind of background

Statistics Norway has no clear analysis of why women depend on men when it comes to integration, but says that many immigrant women come from countries where women’s participation in the worforce or education is significantly lower than in Norway.

The SSB report also emphasizes that inequality in the country or origin, language, cultural background and work experience among refugees can be a major challenge in many municipalities, where there may be an ever-changing composition of participants.

Which groups of people are most likely to go to work or education vary a little from year to year. Former participants from Eritrea and Ethiopia have consistently high levels of employment and education. Goal achievement was high for both men and women.

People with backgrounds from Somalia and Iraq, on the other hand, show low participation in the workplace or in education. People who have come to Norway as asylum seekers also show better results in the labour and education markets than transfer refugees.

Health and commerce

Most people who have participated in the introductory program find work in health and social services, cleaning, the retail trade, repair of motor vehicles, and catering services.

A total of 48% of those who graduated the introductory program in 2012 and 2013 were employed one year later. Approximately 25% worked in health and social services, and 14-15% in cleaning services.

Women are most strongly represented in health and social services, while men dominate the retail trade and employment in workshops.

© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today