Repost: Data on Danish immigrants (1)

The post below, which I first published in late 2011, is one of the most popular ones on the blog in terms of the reader ratings, though that may also be related to the remarks at the end of the post. I never got around to combining the posts on the topic into one big post covering everything, but you can read the other posts on the topic here: Part 2, part 3, part 4. If you know this stuff, you know more than perhaps even a significant majority of the Danes who like to spend time arguing about immigration policy (which is yet another reason why I don’t do political discussions anymore). I incidentally never did a post on the crime stuff – I may get back to that, but I’m not really sure it’s worth it because I’m unlikely to learn much from working on that stuff; I have looked at that type of data before and these things don’t change that much from one year to the next. Anyway, the post:

The central Danish statistical office, Statistics Denmark, has just published a report with a lot of data on Danish immigrants, Immigrants in Denmark, 2011. I thought some of the non-Danes reading along might appreciate a post in English on this subject.

At the site, they’ve given no indications that they’re planning to translate this, so I don’t think an English version of this material is coming up anytime soon. My translation of the stuff is better than what you’d get from google translate, but do remember that I’m not exactly a professional translator. I’ve decided to page-source every bit of data for this reason, so that it’s easier to go have a look for yourself if you’re in doubt. It was most convenient for me to page-source the pdf version pages, not the official page numbers at the top of each page in the report. Don’t think of the statements below as direct quotations from the report – I’ve frequently had to reformulate the expressions used in the report. If something’s unclear, please ask away. Anyway, let’s start:

*10,1 % of the Danish population are immigrants or descendants of immigrants. (p.13)
*Immigrants make up 7,7% and descendants make up 2,4%. (p.13) [A small note here: The report only explicitly mentions the 10,1% and the 7,7%, not the 2,4% – but I think it’s safe to assume that this is a simple subtraction problem and that it makes good sense to post that number as well just for completeness.]
*60,2% of all immigrants are from non-Western countries. (p.13)
*66% of all immigrants and descendants are from non-Western countries. (p.25)
*The number of non-Western immigrants has almost sextupled since 1980. (p.14)
*From 1980 to 2011, the number of non-Western descendants has increased from 7.653 to 115.597. (p.15)
*The number of descendants of Western immigrants grew by 70% from 1980 to 2011. (p.15)

*The immigrants living in Denmark come from more than 200 countries. (p.15)
*The distribution is asymmetric. Immigrants from the top 12 countries (in terms of number of immigrants living in Denmark) make up 50% of all immigrants. (p.15)
*Turkey is at the top of the list with 32 479 immigrants living in Denmark. (p.15)
*5 out of the top 12 countries are Western countries (Germany, Poland, Norway, Sweden, GB). 7 are Non-western countries (Turkey, Iraq, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iran, Lebanon, Pakistan, ex-Jugoslavia). (p.16)
*There’s significant variation in the age distribution of immigrants from different countries. When looking at the top twelve, 20% of the Western immigrants in that group are 60 years old or older, whereas only 10% of the non-Western immigrants in the top-twelve are 60 years old or older. (p.16)
*As to the Poles, they’re an interesting case because they’re quite different from the rest of the Western immigrants. They’re the third largest immigrant population (26 580) in Denmark – the number of Polish born people living in Denmark is higher than the number of immigrants from Sweden and Great Britain combined – and more than half of the Poles (53%) are between 20 and 40. 68% of the Polish immigrants are between 20 and 49 years old. 10 % of them are 60 years or older. (p.16)

*When looking at the descendant populations living in Denmark, 11 out of the top 12 countries are non-Western countries. More than one in five (21%) of all descendants living in Denmark are descendants of Turkish immigrants. Lebanon and Pakistan are next on the list, with 9% and 7% respectively. (p.17)
*Most descendants are quite young. 41% of them are below the age of 10, and only 10% have reached the age of 30.

[I used to comment on this fact back when I did political discussions, because it is often overlooked or simply ignored in discussions about what might be termed the demographic potential of descendant populations. We have no idea how many children descendants will end up having, and it makes no sense to try to draw strong conclusions out of sample from the data sets that are available now. Please have this in mind when we get to the forecasts later on. Putting the above numbers in context, the average age of women having their first child in Denmark was 29,1 years in 2010 (Statistikbanken, FOD11). I also urge people to remember here that the growth rate of population segment X in a population doesn’t just depend on the total fertility rate differential, but also on age of birth differentials. If women from population segment X get children at the age of 30 and women from population segment Y get children at the age of 20, population segment Y will grow faster than population segment X, even if every single woman in the two population segments have the same amount of children. This remark is relevant because non-Western immigrants as a rule get children at a lower age than ethnic Danes. Females of Danish origin get on average 0,21 children during the period of their lives where they are 20-24 years old. For all non-Western female immigrants, the corresponding average number is 0,35. For Lebanese women, the number is 0,72. (pp. 27-28)]

*Western descendants are much older than non-Western descendants, on average. [worsening the data problems mentioned above. Especially if you mix up the Westerns and non-Westerns – does it make sense to extrapolate birth rates of Turkish descendants in 2015 from the historical birth rates of descendants of Norwegian women?] One third of the descendants of Western immigrants are above the age of 30, whereas only 6% of the descendants of non-Western immigrants are that old. (p.18)
*Descendants from Turkey, Pakistan, Jugoslavia or Morocco make up 77% of all 30+ year old descendants from non-Western countries. (p.18)
*The total fertility rate of Somali immigrants in Denmark is 3,937. (p.26)
*In the period 2006-2010, there were an average of 64.056 living births pr. year. In the same period, there were an average of 5.860 (9,1%) children born every year of non-Western immigrants and an average of 2.310 (3,6%) children every year born of Western immigrants. The average annual number of children of descendants over the time period was just 961. (p.26)

*The report has some stats on family patterns and the degree of observed endogamy. When it comes to male immigrants from Western countries who are classified as being in a relationship, in 59% of the cases the partner is of Danish origin and in 37% of the cases the partner is an immigrant from a Western country. When it comes to the female immigrants from a Western country, 63% of the partners are of Danish origin and in one-third of the cases it’s a Western immigrant. The pattern is different when it comes to immigrants from non-Western countries. For male immigrants from non-Western countries, 13% have partners of Danish origin and 80% have partners from a non-Western country. For female immigrants from non-Western countries, 28% have partners of Danish origin and 68% have partners of non-Western origin. Interestingly, when it comes to descendants Western immigrants are more likely to have a partner of Danish origin than are first generation immigrants (83% and 85% for males and females respectively), whereas this pattern is actually reversed for females from non-Western countries, where descendants are less likely to have a Danish partner than are first generation immigrants (19% of females who are descendants of immigrants from non-Western countries with a partner have a partner of Danish origin, whereas the corresponding number for the first generation non-Western female immigrants is 28%.) 3 out of 5 non-Western descendants who are in a relationship are in a relationship with a non-Western immigrant and 18% of them have a partner who’s also a descendant of immigrants from a non-Western country. (all numbers above from Tabel 1.9, p.32)
*When it comes to the non-Western females who find Danish male partners, few of these women come from the major immigrant countries. Of the 19.981 female non-Western immigrants with a partner of Danish origin, females from Thailand, Philippines, Russia, China, Brazil and Ukraine make up 11.644 of them – 58%. (p.33)
*Females from Thailand and Philippines alone make up 39% of the non-Western females who have partners of Danish origin. (p.34)
*When it comes to females from Turkey, Pakistan and Iraq, only 2% of them have a partner of Danish origin. (p.34)
*97% of female Turkish immigrants with a partner have a partner of Turkish origin. 94% of Pakistani females in a relationship have a partner of Pakistani origin. (p.35)
*88% of Turkish descendants in a relationship have a partner of Turkish origin. (p.37)

*Today the country from which Denmark receives the largest number of immigrants is Poland. Denmark received 3850 Polish immigrants in 2010. (p.38)
*(not direct citation but paraphrasing…)’Immigrants from Western countries like USA, Spain and Italy rarely come to Denmark to live here permanently and a large share of them leave Denmark again.’ – ‘This is not the case for non-Western immigrants.’ (p.40) Some data: 77% of the Poles who came to Denmark in 2002 had left the country by January 1st, 2011. 88% of the immigrants from the US who came in 2002 had left Denmark by 2011. On the other hand, only 9 percent of Iraqis who came in 2002 had left by 2011. 24% of the Turks who arrived in 2002 had left by 2011. (all numbers from table, p.39) [the 9% number is interesting also because during that time period, Denmark actually had various policies (Danish links) in place where Iraqis who decided to leave Denmark could get a one-time cash prize for doing so.]

This post dealt with roughly the first 40 pages of the report. The report has 153 pages. So there’s a lot of stuff to cover – there’s also data on education, crime, employment, ect. I might write another post or two on this subject if people liked this one.

Major related hint: If you’d like me to write another post on this, tell me, either by using the rating system or by commenting. If I don’t get positive feedback, I probably won’t do any more work on this – it adds a not insignificant time component to not being able to just quote directly from the report because the stuff needs to be translated as well.

January 15, 2013 - Posted by | Reposts


  1. Det er klart at der er betydelige problemer med opgørelsen fertiliteten hos indvandrerne og efterkommere, og dermed også med at lave fremskrivninger.

    Du har muligvis skrevet om det tidligere, men ellers en opfordring til en fremtidig post. Er der nogle data som trods alt, og med de nødvendige forbehold, alligevel giver indikationer om udviklingen blandt efterkommere f.eks. alderen for førstegangsfødende, antal børn før de er fyldt X, osv.

    Altså data som fortæller os noget om i hvilket tempo “de” nærmer sig et dansk/vestlig niveau.

    Når “eksperter” i medierne skal berolige de “fremmedangste” kommer der ofte henkastede kommentarer om den demografiske transition. En udviklingstendens der angiveligt er som en slags naturlov, og som derfor medfører at folk der bekymrer sig om demografiens udvikling nødvendigvis må være alarmistiske.

    Men selv om den overordnede udviklingstendens givetvis er der, så er tempoet jo ret interessant. Hvad er bedste bud på udviklingen.

    Comment by Superman | January 17, 2013 | Reply

    • Jeg ved ikke meget mere om det emne end hvad der fremgår af disse posts; det er ikke noget, jeg har set på tidligere, for jeg har haft svært ved at finde god information om disse forhold. Måske Rockwool-fonden har en mere detaljeret publikation om emnet? Bemærk at tallene herover fortæller en del af den historie, du ønsker:

      “Females of Danish origin get on average 0,21 children during the period of their lives where they are 20-24 years old. For all non-Western female immigrants, the corresponding average number is 0,35. For Lebanese women, the number is 0,72.”

      Så libanesiske kvinder i Danmark er næsten 3,5 gange så tilbøjelige til at få et barn i alderen 20-24 end etnisk danske kvinder er. Jeg mener der er flere data af den type i rapporten, men jeg er for doven til at kigge efter. Der er store forskelle i fødselsraterne på tværs af oprindelseslande, og det synes oplagt at konvergenshastigheden ikke er ens for grupperne – et forhold det er vigtigt at holde sig for øje hvis man ser på estimater relateret til analyser af denne type. Det ville give god mening at antage, at konvergenshastigheden var højere for grupper med høje fertilitetskvotienter, men det er uklart for mig om tallene indikerer at denne antagelse er korrekt, og det er bestemt muligt at finde argumenter for, at konvergensmønstret måske ser anderledes ud. Uddannelse og fertilitet hænger tæt sammen, og det ville være logisk at forvente at grupper af efterkommere hvor kvinderne har et lavt uddannelsesniveau vil få flere børn, og at de vil få børn tidligere i livet. Men hvor mange flere børn og hvor meget tidligere i livet – det er straks langt vanskeligere spørgsmål at besvare. Usikkerheden omkring estimaterne er enorm og jo mere detaljeret du gør analysen, jo mere usikre bliver dine estimater. Der er vildt mange variable der spiller ind her. Som sagt, måske har Rockwool-fonden set på de her ting. Jeg har ikke. Et andet bud var at kigge efter data fra Social- og Integrationsministeriet.

      Comment by US | January 19, 2013 | Reply

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