YLE NEWS Official Finnish News – Reproduction
Posted on October 26th, 2023

Prof. Hudson McLean

Finland ranks among the European Union’s most racially discriminatory countries, according to the findings of a survey conducted by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA).

Finland takes third spot in the report, which investigates the challenges faced by people of African descent in Europe, encompassing issues of race-based discrimination, harassment, and violence. Austria and Germany were the only two countries to rank ahead of Finland.

Reporting on the Being Black in the EU survey, newspaper Helsingin Sanomat writes that the survey shows how discrimination has become more rampant in recent years, both in Finland and across the EU.


Some 54 percent of the respondents in Finland reported experiencing racial discrimination during the past year, with 63 percent having encountered such discrimination over the past five years.

“People of African descent are routinely met with unfair treatment and bias when seeking jobs or homes. Racial discrimination, harassment and violence continues to haunt their daily lives,” the report notes.

The surveyed countries include Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Poland, Spain, and Sweden.

The FRA gathered data by interviewing individuals residing in these nations who either hailed from sub-Saharan Africa or had at least one parent from the region. The survey was conducted in 2022 and includes responses from more than 6,700 participants.


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EU-selvitys: Suomi koetaan yhdeksi rasistisimmista maista – Helsingin Sanomat 

EU:n perusoikeusvirasto tutki afrikkalais­taustaisiin kohdistuvaa rasismia ja syrjintää 13 jäsenmaassa.

Google Translation

EU survey: Finland is perceived as one of the most racist countries
The EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency investigated racism and discrimination against people of African descent in 13 member states.

Racism has been opposed in demonstrations. For example, in June 2020, thousands of people gathered in Helsinki’s Senate Square for the Black Lives Matter event, which started with the death of George Floyd in the United States.
Racism has been opposed in demonstrations. For example, in June 2020, thousands of people gathered in Helsinki’s Senate Square for the Black Lives Matter event, which started with the death of George Floyd in the United States. PHOTO: ANTTI AIMO-KOIVISTO / MAGAZINE PHOTO

Anni Keski-Heikkilä HS
25.10. 7:00 | Updated on 25.10. 15:55
FINLAND is again at the questionable top of the survey in which the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency asked Europeans of African descent about racism and discrimination.

Finland is considered to be one of the most racist countries. The report “Dark-skinned in the EU” published by the Fundamental Rights Agency on Wednesday investigated racism and discrimination in a total of 13 EU countries.

43 percent of people of African descent interviewed in Finland said they had experienced racist harassment in the past year. The share is higher than in any of the studied countries.

The countries examined in the report were Finland, Belgium, Spain, Ireland, Italy, Austria, Luxembourg, Portugal, Poland, France, Sweden, Germany and Denmark.

The Fundamental Rights Agency asked people living in these countries who were either from sub-Saharan Africa themselves or who had at least one parent from sub-Saharan Africa about racism. The survey was conducted in 2022, and more than 6,700 people responded to it.

NEAR Finland is Germany, where 42 percent had experienced racist harassment in the past year. When asked about racist harassment over the past five years, the proportion was 52 percent in Finland and 54 percent in Germany.

The averages of the surveyed EU countries were 24 percent for harassment experienced in the past year and 30 percent for harassment experienced in the past five years.

According to the report, young women, people with higher education and people wearing religious clothes are more likely to be victims of racist harassment.

WHEN people of African descent were asked about perceived discrimination, Finland ranked third after Austria and Germany.

In Finland, 54 percent of those interviewed said they had experienced racial discrimination in the year preceding the survey, and 63 percent in the five years.

The averages for all EU countries included in the report were 34 percent for one year and 45 percent for five years.

Most often, discrimination is experienced both in Finland and in all countries when looking for a job, working and looking for an apartment. The respondents especially felt that private landlords had not rented them an apartment because of racial discrimination.

Racist discrimination is experienced in the studied countries especially by the young and the highly educated. Of those who experienced discrimination, only less than one in ten had made a report about it.

The FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AGENCY last conducted a similar survey in 2016. The report published two years later received widespread attention, as Finland was perceived to be the most racist of the countries surveyed in its harassment issue.

In Finland, the amount of harassment experienced within five years has decreased from 63 percent to 52 percent. The average of all studied countries has remained the same, i.e. at 30 percent.

In terms of racial discrimination, the situation has worsened both in Finland and throughout Europe in recent years.

Most recently, 39 percent of all respondents had experienced racial discrimination in the past five years. Now the share increased to 45 percent. In Finland, the share increased from 60 percent to 63 percent.

Michael O’Flaherty, director of the Fundamental Rights Agency, describes the results as shocking in the press release.

“Racism and discrimination should have no place in our communities. The EU and its member states should take advantage of these results to better target their efforts and ensure that people of African descent can live according to their rights freely without racism and discrimination,” he says in the press release.

Correction 25.10. 10:59 a.m.: Contrary to what was erroneously reported earlier in the story, the average of racist discrimination in the studied EU countries when asked about the previous year was 34 percent, not 24 percent. In the graphics, the proportion was correct.

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