Discrimination and loneliness affect immigrants’ wellbeing

Publication date 7.11.2023 11.02 | Published in English on 14.11.2023 at 10.15
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According to a recent MoniSuomi study of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), immigrants on average are doing well in Finland. Immigrants’ experiences of inclusion and everyday safety were found to be reasonably strong, but some feel lonely and discriminated against.

However, according to the MoniSuomi study, the majority of immigrants have at least one friend in Finland. Most immigrants perceive their health to be good and report fewer chronic illnesses than the population on average. 

There are still major differences in health, wellbeing and experiences of inclusion depending on the country of origin and gender. These challenges are related to loneliness, experiences of discrimination and difficulties in making ends meet.

Immigrants often feel lonely and discriminated against in Finland

According to the study, 14 per cent of all immigrants feel lonely. For example, one in five men aged 20 to 29 and one in four men from the Middle East and North Africa said they were lonely. 

Meanwhile, 42 per cent of immigrants had experienced discrimination during the previous year. As many as 63 per cent of men from African countries (excluding North Africa) and 53 per cent of men from the Middle East and North Africa reported having experienced discrimination in Finland.

The MoniSuomi study, which was aimed at Finland’s adult population born abroad, examined their health, wellbeing and experiences of health and social services. The data was collected between September and March 2022. In all, 7,838 people who were born outside Finland and whose parents were born outside Finland answered the survey.  

Press release of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, 3 November 2023: On average the immigrant population is doing well in Finland but loneliness and discrimination overshadow health and wellbeing (in Finnish)
Results of the MoniSuomi study.
National study on the health, wellbeing and services of persons born abroad – MoniSuomi 2022 study. Key observations to support decision-making (in Finnish)

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