Monitoring of integration in Estonian society in 2015
The integration monitoring survey is an independent in-depth integration survey commissioned by the Ministry of Culture and carried out every three to four years. The 2015 survey is the sixth survey carried out. The objective of the survey is to answer various questions regarding the language space, economic inequality, the labour market, entrepreneurship, education, participation in social life and trust towards state institutions. The Integration monitoring 2015 was compiled by the experts of the Institute of Baltic Studies, Tallinn University and PRAXIS Centre for Policy Studies.
The objective of the integration monitoring is to determine the attitudes and experiences dominant in the society in integrating people of different nationalities. The results of the survey serve as a valuable source of information for assessing integration activities to date and for planning future policies. In addition, the surveyors are also making suggestions and proposals for developing the area of integration.
The survey answers various questions regarding the language space, socio-economic inequality, state identity, education, participation in social life and trust towards state institutions. The results also concern areas such as contacts between people, equal treatment, citizenship, state identity, media consumption and participation in the political life. The results of the survey are used by policymakers in the area of integration, researchers and experts of institutions and citizens associations carrying out the activities of the integration plan.
The most important conclusions of the survey are the following:
The positive aspect:
- The Estonian language skills of people of other nationalities is improving and the positive symbolic meaning of the Estonian language is increasing;
- The trust of young people of other nationalities towards Estonian state institutions is similar to that of Estonian-speaking young people i.e. higher than that of the older generation of Russian-speakers.
- Estonian national identity indicators related to the sense of belonging of Estonian Russians and the Estonians’ readiness to involve are good;
- Compared to previous surveys, the attitudes of Estonians towards easing citizenship requirements have become more open. The vast majority is of the opinion that all children born in the Republic of Estonia should obtain Estonian citizenship regardless of the citizenship of their parents, and the same should apply to other people who were born in the Republic of Estonia.
The problematic aspect:
- The number of individuals with undefined citizenship is slowly decreasing including young people born in Estonia. In addition, 23 % of individuals with undefined citizenship claim to have sufficient knowledge of the Estonian language;
- The perception of socio-economic and political inequality has increased among Estonian people of other nationalities. The results of the Russian language school reform is also perceived as negative;
- The trust of people of other nationalities towards Estonian state institutions continues to be lower than that of Estonians;
- The integration indicators in Ida-Viru County are significantly lower than compared to other Estonian regions.