Finland knows that it is in demographic hot water but leaves its future woes to chance

by , under Enrique Tessieri

A new forecast by Statistics Finland tells us what we’ve known for a long time: We are in demographic hot water and our population will start to shrink and get older, according to YLE News. Net immigration will keep up present population levels at 5.6 million until 2035, but will decline to 5.5 million in the 2050s. 

YLE News writes: “In 2010, the average number of births per woman in Finland was 1.87, compared to an average of 1.49 children per woman in 2017 — the lowest level in Finnish history. The overall fertility rate in 2018 is expected to decline to 1.43 and the last time that the birth rate declined as much in consecutive years was in the 1960s.”

As population forecasts show, Finland needs to take steps to increase its low birthrate and lure migrants to the country.

Using the roughly 35,000 asylum seekers that moved to Finland in 2015-2016 as an example, it’s clear that Finland and the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) have shown their usual hostile face to migration.

Read the full story here.

Even if common sense tells us that Finland needs more migrants, luring newcomers to the country is easier said than done.

Some factors that may attract people to migrate to Finland is our education system, comprehensive health care, social welfare, little crime and high standard of living, among other factors.

Below, are some factors that hinder migration to the country:

  • Ineffective migration policy that aims to hinder people, especially from outside the EU, from moving to Finland;
  • A too Finnocentric approach to national identity that is more concerned, even obsessed, about labelling people “us” and “them;”
  • Stop treating newborn children in Finland to foreign parents as eternal “people with migrant origin” and as outsiders;
  • Jus sanguinis, or that a child can only be a Finn if one of his parents are Finns, is a racist and antiquated way of granting citizenship;
  • Even if one of the parent’s is a white Finn, the child, depending on the color of his or her skin, is treated and seen as an eternal foreigner;
  • There is dear little public debate or any idea how a migrant can transform from being a “person of foreign origin” to a Finn or at least an equal member of society;
  • Even if over 1.2 million people emigrated from this country between 1860 and 1999, their experiences as migrants in foreign lands interests us too little;
  • Finland has too few regulatory bodies, and unfortunately too little political will, to tackle discrimination and racism. This means that most migrants and minorities will continue as second- and third-class citizens of society;
  • The labor market is more than happy – even encouraging – to get cheap labor through skilled and semi-skilled migrants;
  • Too little leadership by politicians and society in defending the values of our Nordic welfare state that is based on social equality and mutual respect;
  • Even if about 7% of the total population in Finland were born elsewhere, migrants and minorities are a rare sight in public services like the police;
  • Too little leadership on how we are preparing for demographic changes in the next 20-30 years;
  • During 2011 to the present, anti-immigration parties like the Perussuomalaiset* and Blue Reform have poisoned the debate about migrants and minorities with their hateful rhetoric, which has given them more power;
  • Present immigration policy, public attitudes towards cultural diversity, and little to no political will to offer leadership mean that Finland will leave its future population challenges to chance.

The Perussuomalaiset (PS) party imploded on June 13, 2017, into two factions, the PS and New Alternative, which is now called Blue Reform. Despite the name changes, we believe that it is the same party in different clothing. Both factions are hostile to cultural diversity never mind Muslims and other visible minorities. One is more open about it while the other says it in a different way. .

A direct translation of Perussuomalaiset in English would be something like “basic” or “fundamental Finn.” Official translations of the Finnish name of the party, such as Finns Party or True Finns, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and racism. We, therefore, at Migrant Tales prefer to use in our postings the Finnish name of the party once and after that the acronym PS.