The promotion of integration is steered by legislation. It is connected to, among other things, government and municipal programmes for the promotion of integration, to the promotion of integration as an interdisciplinary practice, and to partnerships between different actors. A key aspect in the promotion of integration is bilateralism and the promotion of equality, non-discrimination and good relations between population groups.
Immigration has increased and our society has become more diverse
The number of immigrants has significantly increased in Finland particularly during the 21st century. At the end of 2020, more than 279,000 non-Finnish citizens and more than 444,000 people with a non-Finnish origin were living in Finland.
The number of people of non-Finnish origin has rapidly increased. In 1990, the share of non-Finnish people was just 0.5 per cent, but by 2020, the share had increased to nearly eight per cent.
People immigrate to Finland for many reasons. The largest reasons for immigration are employment and family. The second largest reasons are education and international protection.
People who immigrate to Finland usually settle down in growth centres. In 2020, half of the people born outside of Finland lived in Uusimaa, and more than two thirds lived in the regions of Uusimaa, Southwest Finland and Pirkanmaa.
Immigration should be considered in service design
The increase in immigration requires that the needs of immigrants are considered when public services are designed. In addition, measures and services focused on integration are needed.
The increase in immigration makes multilingual communications and the diversity of values and traditions a more central part of Finnish society. Integration is a continuous and personal process that requires commitment from the immigrants themselves as well as from the society receiving them.
Priority areas for policies promotion of integration
Policies that promote integration are interdisciplinary and require close cooperation particularly between services related to employment, education, housing, social welfare and healthcare both in the design and implementation of youth, sports and cultural services.
Participation of civil society and organisations, including immigrant organisations, in the work for promoting integration is an important priority area.
The objectives and measures for the promotion of integration for each government term are defined in the Government Integration Programme (VALKO) approved by the Government. During the prime minister Marin's government term The government report on the need to reform integration replaces VALKO.
The government report on the need to reform integration (in Finnish)
The integration partnership programme