Econstudentlog

Data on Danish immigrants, 2011 (2)

Thanks for the feedback.

And just a remark in case you were in doubt (most people probably weren’t, but just in case) – yes, I know very well that it doesn’t make all that much sense to report population estimates on a population of millions of people 40 years into the future down to almost fractions of a person without even including error bars (like the 6.139.618 population estimate for 2050. 618 you say? Not 617?). But the report doesn’t include error bars and I don’t feel comfortable rounding these numbers – so I decided from the start to just report the numbers they give and work with those; there are all sorts of problems related to doing anything else. So anyway, here’s some more stuff from the report:

*According to Statistics Denmark’s latest model estimates, the number of non-Western immigrants in the population will grow with 39% from 2011 to 2050, so that there will be 358.000 non-Western immigrants in Denmark. Today the number is 258.000. The corresponding increase in the number of Western immigrants is estimated at 47%. (p.48)
*The number of descendants of Western immigrants is expected to increase significantly during the period, so that by 2050 the number will be 4,4 times higher than it is today. The number of descendants of non-Western immigrants is likewise expected to increase over time, by a factor of 2,2. Despite these differences in growth rates, the number of non-Western descendants is still expected to turn out to be a little more than 3 times as high as the number of Western descendants by 2050. (p.48) This is because the current number of descendants of non-Western immigrants living in Denmark is much higher (115.597) than the current number of descendants of Western immigrants (18.016) living in Denmark. (p.49)
*The ratio of the Danish population categorized as people ‘of Danish origin’ is expected to decrease over time from 89,9% in 2011 to 84,7% in 2050. (p.48)
*The total Danish population (people of Danish origin, immigrants and descendants combined) is expected to grow by 578.990 people from 2011 to 2050, from 5.560.628 people in 2011 to 6.139.618 people in 2050. The subset of Western immigrants living in Denmark is expected to increase by 79.876 over that time period, from 170.758 to 250 634. The number of descendants of Western immigrants is expected to grow by 61.477, from 18.016 to 79.493. The part of the total Danish population growth from 2011 to 2050 which can be explained by Western immigrants and their descendants is thus equal to 141.353, which is roughly one-fourth of the total estimated population growth (24,4%) (p.49). The subset of non-Western immigrants living in Denmark is expected to increase by 99.413 from 2011 to 2050, from 258.146 to 357.559. The number of descendants of non-Western immigrants is expected to grow by 135.221, from 115 597 to 250 818.
The part of the total Danish population growth from 2011 to 2050 which can be explained by non-Western immigrants and their descendants is thus equal to 234.634, or 40,5% of the total estimated population growth. The part of the population growth over the period explained by people of Danish origin is 203.003, or 35,1% of the total population growth – despite the fact that this group makes up ~85-90% of the population over the entire time period in question. (all numbers from Tabel 1.18, p.49. They didn’t actually report these specific growth component percentages in the report, but it doesn’t take much work to calculate them from the data provided and I thought they’d be interesting to have a look at.)
*When looking at age groups, a few developments are noteworthy. In 2050, people of Danish origin are expected to make out 80,7 % of people at the ages of 40-64, vs. 91,4% today. The employment level of this age group is relatively high, compared to other age groups, which is part of what makes this development interesting – non-Western immigrants in general have much lower levels of employment than do people of Danish origin; more on that stuff below. Another factor perhaps worth noting is that the percentage of immigrants from non-Western countries above 64 years old is expected to increase from 1,2% today to 7,9% in 2050 (the expected growth of Western immigrants in that age group is much smaller – from 2,5% to 3,5%). (p.49)

*The employment rate [beskæftigelsesfrekvens] of males of Danish origin was 75,1% in 2010. The employment rate of females of Danish origin was 73,0% in 2010. The employment rate of male Western immigrants was 62,8% and the employment rate of female Western immigrants was 57,4%. The employment rate of non-Western male immigrants was 53,9% in 2010. The employment rate of non-Western female immigrants was 44,6% in 2010. (p.54)
*The employment rate of non-Western male descendants was 55% in 2010, and the employment rate of female non-Western descendants was 56%. (p.51)
*The employment rate differences between people of Danish origin and non-Western immigrants are particularly pronounced in the age group of 50-59 year olds: Whereas the employment rate of that age group was 79% for females of Danish origin, the corresponding number for non-Western female immigrants was 38%. (p.51)
*The employment rate difference between males of Danish origin and male immigrants of non-Western origin was 21 percentage points in 2010, whereas the employment rate difference between females of Danish origin and female immigrants of non-Western origin was 28 percentage points in 2010.(p.51)
*In 1996 the difference in the employment rates of males of Danish origin and those of male immigrants of non-Western origin was 40 percentage points. The corresponding difference in the employment rates of females of Danish origin and those of female immigrants of non-Western origin was 44 percentage points in 1996. 1996 was two years before the first election where immigration policy became a major factor (though in terms of formation of the government, it did not decide the election – that didn’t happen until 2001).
*The previous 2008-report from Statistics Denmark contained a nice illustration of how the employment rate differences between non-Western immigrants and Danes vary with age and I decided to include it in this post – you can find it at page 65. The numbers are from 2007. Dark-blue = males, light-blue = females, the y-axis is the employment rate difference between people of Danish origin and non-Western immigrants measured in percentage points, the x-axis is age:

So, to take an example, the employment rate of non-Western female immigrants at the age of 40 was approximately 35 percentage points lower than the employment rate of females of Danish origin at the age of 40 in 2007.

*Back to the 2011 report: From 1996 to 2008 the employment rate of non-Western immigrants increased significantly; the male employment rate increased from 40% to 63% and the female employment rate increased from 26% to 50%. Here are two graphs from the report (p.53), click on them to view them in a higher resolution – the first one is on male data, the second is on female data:

Explanation:
“Indv., vestlige lande” = Immigrants from Western countries
“Indv., ikke-vestlige lande” = Immigrants from non-Western countries
“Dansk oprindelse” = Danish origin
“Eftk., vestlige lande” = Descendants, Western countries
“Eftk., ikke-vestlige lande” = Descendants, non-Western countries.
In both cases, the y-axis is the employment rate.

*Country of origin is a very important variable – not all Western countries are the same, nor are all non-Western countries the same. The employment rate of immigrants from the Netherlands is the same as that of people of Danish origin – 74%. The Polish immigrants have an employment rate of 66%, and so do the British. These employment numbers are much higher than those of the immigrants from the US, where the employment rate is just 49%. (p.57) However, ‘many young Western immigrants come to Denmark to study, they’re often only here for a short while and return home after they’ve finished their coursework here’ (paraphrasing some of the relevant remarks on p.76). The authors don’t go into any details about the US immigrants in the report, but I think it’s safe to say that they are more likely to be university students than are immigrants from, say, Poland – the lower employment rates probably shouldn’t be all that surprising. Employment rates on their own don’t care about differences in labor force participation rates.
*Non-Western immigrants generally have lower employment rates, and it’s also among these countries of origin that we find the subpopulations with the lowest employment numbers. The bottom three are Iraq (36% employed), Lebanon (35% employed) and Somalia (31% employed). Less than one in four of female Lebanese immigrants in Denmark are employed. But worth noticing here is also that some of the non-Western countries do quite well: 67% of Ukrainians are employed, and so are 63% of the immigrants from Thailand. (p.57)

A table from the report (p.57), click on it to view it full size:

As I know a lot of terms might cause problems I decided to add an explanation. It was either that, translate everything and make my own table or report some more of the numbers in the text – I decided you should have the data but I didn’t want to spend a lot of time reconstructing that table. You can probably figure out a lot of the stuff I’ve translated below on your own, but in my experience it’s very nice to not have to be the least bit in doubt when reading tables like these. If you have questions, ask:
Title: Employment rates of 16-64 year olds. 2010.
“Antal personer”: Number of people. (antal = number)
“Beskæftigelsesfrekvens”: Employment rate.
“Mænd” = Males.
“Kvinder” = Females.
“I alt” = Total/combined.

“Indvandrere, vestlige lande”: Immigrants, Western countries
Nederlandene = The Netherlands
Storbritannien = Great Britain
Polen = Poland
Rumænien = Romania
Sverige = Sweden
Tyskland = Germany
Litauen = Lithuania
Norge = Norway
Island = Iceland
Italien = Italy
Frankrig = France

“Indvandrere, ikke-vestlige lande” = Immigrants, non-Western countries
Kina = China
Tyrkiet = Turkey
Rusland = Russia
Indien = India
Jugoslavien = Jugoslavia
Marokko = Morocco
Filippinerne = The Philippines
Irak = Iraq
Libanon = Lebanon

The specific 30 countries were chosen because those were the 30 countries of origin with the highest amounts of 16-64 year olds.

The employment rate is somewhat dependent on how long people have lived here, so the authors also decided to split up the data using that variable. Again, click to view it full size:

From page 60. Additional explanation:
Title (roughly): ‘Employment rates of 16-64-year old immigrants – distributed based on the amount of time spent in Denmark. 2010.’
‘Opholdstid’ = Time spent in Denmark.
‘Under 3 år’ = Less than 3 years.
‘3-6 år’ = 3-6 years. [I think you get the picture...]
‘Over 15 år’ = More than 15 years.

*Do note when interpreting the employment numbers of e.g. Filipino women that people who are employed as au-pairs are not counted as employed. (p.59)

*’Even when taking into account differences in the amounts of time spent in the country, there are still big differences. Immigrants from Iraq, Lebanon and Somalia who have been in Denmark for at least a decade have employment rates between 30% and 41%. Immigrants from the Philippines, China and Thailand who’ve been in Denmark for at least a decade have employment rates between 67% and 75%.’ (p.59)

I’ll post at least one more post on this subject. I will probably add the posts together into one single post when I’m done.

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December 20, 2011 - Posted by | data, demographics, denmark, immigration

2 Comments »

  1. Thanks a lot for all the work. Am I imagining stuff or does something special happen to employment rates for descendants of non western origin, especially among men, through the 90ies? The rest of the graphs follow the same pattern, but that one seems to drop significantly compared to the rest, only to resume its previous position ten years later. Odd, I think.

    Comment by info | December 20, 2011 | Reply

    • It does look a bit funny compared to the other groups. On a general level they follow the same pattern as those of immigrants, they note that in the text as well. If you take out the years in the mid-late 80es where the descendant groups have positive employment growth rates and non-Western immigrants do not, they look not all that dissimilar (though there’s a big level difference).

      If I had to speculate, part of the explanation why immigrants and descendants don’t track each other very well during that period is probably that the immigration patterns changed in the 80’es; we started receiving a lot more non-Westerns in 83 (and forwards) than we used to do, and the composition of immigrants changed as many of the new immigrants we received had refugee status or came here as a result of family reunions (the legislative framework behind these changes was Udlændingeloven af 1983). Both are groups you’d expect to have lower employment rates than had those who were already here, many of which had originally come as ‘guest workers’.

      The big drop in the employment rate of descendants in the 80es/early 90es might be explained by them working disproportionally in sectors which are very sensitive to business cycle fluctuations – the report has a little stuff on that as well, but I won’t cover that. That said, business cycle stuff can’t explain all that much of the immigrant employment development – their employment rates basically drop like a stone for one-and-a-half decade. But if you’re looking at all immigrants and comparing them to other groups, you probably aren’t comparing apples to apples. It makes sense to look at the numbers anyway, but it probably needs to be emphasized that whereas the 16-64 year old descendants of non-Western immigrants in 1982 were pretty much the same (type of) individuals in 1992, the immigrant population and its composition changed significantly. I wouldn’t be surprised that if you were to look only at the employment rate development of the immigrants who were here in 82 and you were to disregard the contribution from people who entered the country later, the employment development pattern would change and you’d find they had positive employment development in 85-87.

      There’s usually a lot of stuff hidden in the details here.

      Comment by US | December 22, 2011 | Reply


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