Monitoring of integration in Estonian society in 2015

The Institute of Baltic Studies carried out the Integration Monitoring of Estonian Society in 2015.

The integration monitoring is based on the sectoral development plan Integrating Estonia 2020, which sets the strategic goal of developing an integrated and cohesive Estonian society, where people from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds actively participate in social life and share democratic values. The prerequisite for this is the strong connection of the permanent residents of Estonia with the state through the strengthening of their common state identity, which in turn presupposes mutual trust and willingness to cooperate. The monitoring of the integration of Estonian society focused on identifying factors that support or hinder the realization of these goals.

The target group of the survey was all permanent residents of Estonia aged 15-85 and immigrants who have settled in Estonia for the last five years. Based on previous integration monitoring as well as other sectoral studies and policy priorities, the 2015 monitoring had two important target groups: young people aged 15-25 and poorly integrated Russian-speaking residents.

Emphasis was placed on nine topics that the research group found to be important in the integration process in Estonia: 1) education and youth; 2) labor market and socio-economic inequalities; 3) media consumption and common information field; 4) state identity; 5) political participation and citizenship; 6) language learning, language use and cultural contacts; and 7) integration clusters and integration dimensions. The themes that crossed all the thematic emphases horizontally and all data analysis are 8) equal opportunities and equal treatment, and 9) regional specificities. All thematic emphases were analyzed by important target groups – young and low-income permanent residents.

The research team included researchers from Tallinn University, the University of Tartu and PRAXIS Center for Policy Studies. Integration monitoring is commissioned by the Ministry of Culture every 3-4 years.