Challenges and Solutions
Edited by Martin Kahanec and Klaus F. Zimmermann
Chapter 4: Social and Labor Market Integration of Ethnic Minorities in Denmark
4. Social and labor market integration of ethnic minorities in Denmark Peder J. Pedersen INTRODUCTION In Denmark1 the stock of immigrants and descendants relative to the total population is close to the European average. The arrival pattern and challenge inherent in the development in recent decades are also, in principle, the same as found in many other EU countries. Immigration on a larger scale picked up in the 1960s and early 1970s, when guest workers were actively recruited, mainly from Turkey, Yugoslavia and Pakistan, in a setting with excess demand for labor. The large cyclical turning point which occurred in 1973 and 1974 resulted in a halt to further guest worker immigration. At the same time Denmark joined the EU, with the resulting free labor mobility with other member states as in the common Nordic labor market, which had been fully in operation since 1954. The mobility relative to other EU countries as well as the mobility to the other Nordic countries remained however at a fairly low level and was further characterized by high levels of return migration. While the oil price shock was accompanied by a halt to any further migration of guest workers, those already resident in the country were allowed to stay and bring family members as tied-movers. In the years after 1973 and 1974 tied-movers were the main source underlying the increase in the stock of immigrants. From the mid-1980s refugees also arrived in increasing numbers, resulting in the same fundamental shift in the composition...
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