Reports 2017/22

Young people with immigrant background in employment and education 2015

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This report describes the disparities in the shares of persons aged 16-34 who are in employment or education (i.e. the share of the population that is active). The following three sub-populations are compared: 1) those who arrived in Norway as immigrants from Eastern Europe outside the EU, Asia, Africa and South and Central America; 2) those born in Norway to immigrant parents with a background from the aforementioned world regions, and 3) people with a non-immigrant background (i.e. the majority population). The report is based on register statistics for the 4th quarter of 2015.

The 2015 figures confirm the main pattern in previous reports in the sense that the Norwegian-born to immigrant parents are much closer to the majority population than the immigrant group in relation to the share that is active. For the group aged 16-34 as a whole, the disparity in relation to the majority is 4.3 percentage points for the Norwegian-born to immigrant parents and 25.1 percentage points for immigrants. Immigrants who arrived in Norway before school age are, however, roughly on a par with the Norwegian-born to immigrant parents.

There are, however, some nuances within the various age groups. For instance, the gap between the majority and the Norwegian-born to immigrant parents over the age of 24 is slightly wider than for the younger age groups. Within the age group 25-29, the gap is 6.9 percentage points, and among those aged 30-34, it is almost 9.3 percentage points. This is due to the somewhat lower shares of Norwegian-born to immigrant parents in employment and education in these age groups. Within the oldest age group, the women have the largest disparity compared to the majority, at 11.3 percentage points.

It should be noted that those aged 25-34 only constitute 30 per cent of the Norwegian-born to immigrant parents in the population we are looking at. Thus, the share in employment or education within this sub-population is mostly influenced by those aged 16-24, where education is the dominating activity.

Among the 24+ sub-population, male immigrants have a considerably higher level of activity than the women, and hence are closer to the majority. Within these age groups, the disparities between female immigrants and women in the majority population are 27 and 32 percentage points, while the disparities between male immigrants and men in the majority population are 18 and 22 percentage points.

Completion of an upper secondary education has, however, a stronger impact on the share in activity than immigrant background. Norwegian-born to immigrant parents and immigrants who have completed an upper secondary or a higher education have considerably higher shares in activity than the majority population with a compulsory education only.

Moreover, we can observe a larger gap between immigrants with a compulsory education only and immigrants with a higher education compared to the disparity between immigrants and the majority at the same educational level. The same pattern is also apparent within the group of Norwegian-born to immigrant parents.

The fact that the two groups with an immigrant background have larger shares with a compulsory education only than the majority population among the 19+ sub-population is an important contributing factor to the disparities in activity level between the three population groups. This phenomenon has a particular impact on the immigrant group.

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