Entry to Homeownership among First-Generation Immigrants in Finland. A Decomposition of the Difference from Natives

Timo M. Kauppinen, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Finland
Katja Vilkama, University of Helsinki

This article contributes to research on the homeownership gap between immigrants and natives in Western countries, extending earlier research by using longitudinal data and studying a country with a short history of immigration. We compare the duration of entry to homeownership between non-Western immigrants and natives migrating to the Helsinki metropolitan area in Finland, using individual-level register-based data from 1990 to 2008 for 10,390 immigrants and 23,063 natives. We apply discrete-time survival analysis methods and statistical decomposition. We find considerable differences between groups in the speed of entry to homeownership. A majority of these differences can be explained by observed differences in economic and demographic characteristics during the follow-up. Therefore, differences in the degree of economic assimilation are an important explanation for the homeownership gaps. For some groups, considerable gaps remain, requiring additional explanations. We conclude by assessing the significance of the Nordic welfare state context for immigrants’ housing careers.

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Presented in Session 178: Demography of Housing