NCSR 2008 - Urban Diversity and Religious Traditions
13-15 August 2008, Åbo Akademi University

Islam and labour market integration in Denmark

Peter B. Andersen & Peter Lüchau

The rising number of Muslim immigrants in Europe not only raise the question of clash of civilizations but also more down-to-earth questions of day to day integration via the labour market. Using unique data from one of the first ever quantitative studies of predominantly Muslim immigrants in Denmark the paper will explore the possible role of religion in labour market integration in Denmark. Using representative samples from three groups of first generation immigrants (from Turkey, Pakistan, and Iran) with 1500 respondents this new quantitative data material is unique not only in its size but also in its detailed questions on education, labour market affiliation, social contacts, and religiosity. If religiosity and religious capital is helping immigrants get into the labour market then religion is surely alleviating social problems. If on the other hand religion is stopping immigrants from gaining entrance to the labour market then religion may be worsening existing social problems thereby creating an underclass of religious immigrants who may have an heightened chance of becoming radicalized.