Definition: unless otherwise noted, an immigrant is defined as a person who is foreign-born and whose parents are both foreign-born as well. Descendants are defined as persone who are native-born both of whose parents are foreign-born.
Region of origin
By far the greatest share of immigrants in the Nordic countries come from within Europe. Particularly in Iceland, there is a large share of European immigrants, many of whom have arrived there in search of employment. In Sweden, a larger share is from the Middle East and North Africa.
Country of origin
The largest immigrant groups in the Nordic countries are from Syria and Poland. However, this varies significantly between countries. For instance, Polish immigrants make up 38% of immigrants in Iceland, but only 1% in Finland.
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Gender and region of origin
Immigrants from Europe and North America are more likely to be male than female. The same goes for immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa, while immigrants from Asia and Latin America are more likely to be female, as are people migrating between the Nordic countries.
Gender distribution by country
Men and women are in general equally represented in the immigrant statistics, however immigrants from certain countries tend to be less evenly distributed. Possibly as a result of au pair programmes and family reunification, immigrants from some countries, like Thailand and Philippines, are overwhelmingly female. On the other hand, immigrants from Ireland and the UK – and also many African and Middle Eastern ones - are predominantly male.