Finland will see dramatic changes to its population age structure in the next four decades, when the number of over-64-year-olds will soar by 941,000 to 1.639 million people, according to MTV3, citing Statistics Finland. Likewise, our labor force will shrink by an estimated 600,000 people in about 25 years.
It is surprising, if not worrying, that the majority of politicians, never mind political parties, don’t consider Finland’s demographic woes a serious enough problem to address today. Few if any speak openly about attracting skilled immigrants to the country as one of many measures to slow the worrying trend.
In many respects, these politicians are hostages of their own complacency and shortsightedness. It’s very difficult to speak out in favor of immigration and cultural diversity when such politicians have been silent or made in the past slipshot comments on the issue.
But why would any sensible immigrant want to move to a country that doesn’t appear interested in them? Moreover, what’s so attractive about a country where it takes a long time to learn the language, has high taxes, long-and-cold winters and does everything possible to remind you that you are an immigrant?
Didn’t 19.1% of the Finns vote last year for the Perussuomalaiset (PS), an anti-EU, anti-immigration and especially anti-Islam party?
Pekka Myskylä of Statistics Finland, however, believes that our foreign population will account for 16% of the total population by 2057.
In a blog entry published in December 2009, Migrant Tales wrote that the number of pensioners will rise from the present 17% (905,000 persons who are older than 65 years) to 27% by 2040 and 29% (1.79 million) by 2060, according to Statistics Finland, Better medicare will fuel this trend, with persons over 85 years rising from 2% (108,000) to 7% (463,000).
What Finland doesn’t need today is a party like the PS that fuels xenophobia and instills fear in the hearts and minds of Finns on issues like immigration.