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Australia’s citizenship policies rank 3rd out of 33 countries


14 September 2011: Australia is a world leader on providing a clear path to citizenship, according to an international study on migrant settlement published today by the Migration Policy Group. Australia ranks 3rd out of 33 countries on citizenship policies and 5th in its overall approach to giving legal migrants opportunities to participate in society.

The MIPEX can be used by both the international and national media as a reliable, quick reference guide to provide in-depth understanding on where countries are doing well in providing equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities to migrants, and where they are falling behind. You can compare countries to neighbouring or other countries, and get an overview of what has changed and what could be done to improve integration. Since the MIPEX is updated continuously, you can regularly access contextual information and keep abreast of what is on the agenda in your country with regard to migrant integration and the impact it has on society. You can find the reasoning behind low and high scores in your country and use the results to supplement the human angle of stories on migrants and their experiences.

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You can use the MIPEX online tool to visualise selected comparisons of policies, countries and changes over time as bar, map, radar or scatter-plot charts by choosing a chart, selecting the countries and policies to compare and generating your customised chart.

You can then share your chart on Facebook, add it to your own customised PDF of the MIPEX results, embed it onto your website or blog, or save it as an image or CSV. 

Improve your score

You can use the MIPEX online tool to monitor and recommend policy changes. By manually changing indicator scores the tool will calculate your changes and forecast how reform would improve policies in your country and compare them with other countries.

You can then visualise these scenarios by generating new comparative charts to share, publish, embed or save in your preferred format.

Press releases

14 September 2011: New Language Tests Could Threaten UK’s Progress On Integrating Migrants

The UK has become more effective at integrating new migrants, but new language tests could threaten this progress, a new study has shown.

The study, published today by the Migration Policy Group, shows that the UK government’s decision to remove the burdensome “Earned Citizenship” path has improved the UK’s standing in the “MIPEX” international ranking for effective integration policies. However, current proposals would make it harder for non-EU migrants to learn English, which is crucial in encouraging participation in local communities and employment.

Ranked 9th for its integration policies out of 33 countries, the UK guarantees better opportunities for migrants to integrate than most European countries, but still trails behind Canada (3rd) and Australia (5th), largely due to these countries’ strong support for all residents to successfully learn Englis h and their programmes on family reunion.

In particular, cuts to English classes means it is harder to learn English in the UK, and language requirements for family reunion and citizenship will be higher than all other English-speaking countries.

In addition, the new UK condition that applicant non-EU spouses must first speak the language before entering the country is totally absent from English-speaking countries like Australia, Canada and the US, and very rare in Europe.

As a contrast, Australia and Canada invest in migrant’s abilities to participate in society by providing free language classes once they arrive, and support for immigrant organisations in local communities.

The approach of combining demanding requirements with poor support may work more as an obstacle to learning English than as the incentive that has made integration work more effectively in Australia and Canada,” said the author of the study, Thomas Huddleston.

Rob Berkeley of the Runnymede Trust, the UK partner organisation for the project said: "Learning English is recognised as a crucial part of the route to integration. The UK government should ensure that there are opportunities for immigrants to learn English rather than making short term cuts which will lead to exclusion for migrants and their families in the longer term".

Commenting, Cedric Manen, Chair of the Settlement Council of Australia (SCOA), said:

“The UK can take lessons from Australia where they provide free English classes and additional support through settlement programs, particularly to those who are vulnerable. The settlement process has been strengthened through renewed focus on multicultural policy at a time when European counterparts took a more conservative stance on multiculturalism.”


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It seems the economic downturn, the recession, the IMF, the big bailout, the problem Fianna Fáil caused, and the banks, have taken its toll on education services in Ireland. According to the Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX), in 2011, Ireland ‘is not very well prepared to help new immigrants enter the school system’.


Those seeking rationale and reason for the riots have turned to rising levels of wealth inequality, a lack of integration of migrant youth, and the segregation of these communities in 'ghettos.' Amid the shock and awe, there are two key points that have yet to be discussed. The first is that there has been a broad tendency, within and outside Sweden, to praise Swedish policies which have not actually yielded their intended outcomes. The second is the long swept-under-the-carpet issue of racism in Sweden.

As commenters discuss the failures of integration in Sweden, the instinct has been to shirk responsibility with claims that 'they have not integrated.' Minds immediately turn to Sweden's renowned open-door, liberal immigration policies. Indeed, according to the Migrant Integration Policy Index, which ranks integration policies according to best practices and European standards, Sweden's integration policies rank the highest of 29 European countries. Their policies have been lauded internationally for their human rights compliance and generosity. By this logic, if the government is getting it right, then of course migrants are to blame for failing to achieve integration. After all, they live in one of the most egalitarian countries in the world. But though we may be able to laud Sweden for its policy design, we often gloss over the actual outcomes that have resulted from these policies. It's like judging a book by its cover.


Inequalities between foreign-born and Swedish-born workers remain rife...These outcomes should be the first sign that something has gone wrong. Just because the goals are well set, does not mean outcomes will follow. And if outcomes are not achieved, then the methods need to be changed.

Secondly, both integration and the reason for these riots go far beyond unemployment. What we have been seeing in Stockholm over the last week is fundamentally a race relations issue...Anyone who has spent time in Sweden knows that Swedes are averse to talking about racism...And then there is the critical issue of police brutality and racial profiling...

It's time to face the reality that governments, law enforcement, and yes - majority communities must also claim responsibility for the events that have taken place over the last week. It's also time to talk honestly about white privilege and how it often skews the name, blame, and shame game when it comes to social unrest in diverse societies...


 Integrationsdebatten nur mit viel FingerspitzengefühlInteressanterweise bedeutet die stetige konservative Position der CDU/CSU seit 1990 aber mitnichten einen Stillstand in der deutschen Integrationspolitik. Die Positionen der CDU/CSU haben sich seit den 1980ern spürbar liberalisiert und gleichen jenen ihrer konservativen Schwesterparteien in Europa sehr. Laut MIPEX-Daten ( zählt die aktuelle deutsche Integrations- und Zuwanderungspolitik hinter Schweden und den Niederlanden im Durchschnitt gar mit zur liberalsten in ganz Europa.

Obwohl die CDU/CSU diese schrittweise Liberalisierung mitgetragen hat, gingen ihr konservative Wähler und Politiker nicht verloren. Entscheidend hierfür ist, dass die Union seit 1989 keine große politische Auseinandersetzung in Integrationsfragen mehr „verlor“ – sie konnte stets entscheidende Forderungen durchsetzen: sei es die Verschärfung des Asylrechts 1992, die Ablehnung der Doppelten Staatsbürgschaft 1999/2000 und das restriktive Zuwanderungsgesetz Anfang der 2000er. Die Union konnte sich daher stets als „Wahrer“ konservativer Interessen profilieren.

Eine weitere Liberalisierung deutscher Integrationspolitik ist also durchaus möglich, solange dies nicht in eine öffentlichkeitswirksame Niederlage der Union mündet. Dies eröffnet zwei Möglichkeiten, um dem Aufstieg einer Partei rechts der CDU/CSU entgegen zu wirken: (1) Entweder muss das Thema aus der alltäglichen politischen Auseinandersetzung herausgehalten werden, um es der CDU/CSU zu ermöglichen, Stück für Stück weitere Liberalisierungen an der konservativen Basis zu vermitteln. Sollte es aber (2) zu einer medienwirksamen politischen Konfrontation kommen, ist das linke politische Lager gut beraten, den Kernforderungen der Union nachzukommen. Nur auf diesem Wege kann die Union weiter konservative Wähler und vor allem Politiker an sich binden und verhindern, dass sich jene nach einer Alternative rechts der etablierten bürgerlichen Parteien umsehen...


'Swedishness must be split from being white'Despite most Swedes today distancing themselves from racism, we still meet stereotypical images and descriptions of non-white minorities and non-Western cultures in contemporary Swedish culture. Comparatively, Sweden has established some of the strongest laws against discrimination, and therefore gets top grades in the Migrant Integration Policy Index for creating the best preconditions for integration of new citizens. This isn't what needs improving. 

We see a segmented labour market, and we see housing segregation - even when we compare with other countries that are much more cautious towards people who are not seen to belong to the majority population. 

Taken together, this should prompt us to pause for reflection. 

We want a new Swedish story better equipped to deal with and include today's demographic diversity and to create a new Swedishness for the future. That new story's main task is to separate whiteness from Swedishness in order to be a socially sustainable future Swedishness...


Österreich hat eines der risikoreichsten und teuersten Einbürgerungsverfahren in der EU. Das ist der nüchterne Befund des Migration Policy Index (Mipex), mit dem die Integrationspolitiken von zahlreichen Staaten miteinander verglichen werden. Dabei hätten 40 Prozent der in Österreich ansässigen Ausländer ein theoretisches Anrecht auf die österreichische Staatsbürgerschaft. Oder, wie es Heinz Fassmann, Vorsitzender des Expertenrats für Integration im Innenministerium, ausdrückt: Die Zahl an Fremden wird statistisch vorgetäuscht. Das ist auch ein demokratiepolitisches Problem, denn zwölf Prozent der in Österreich lebenden Menschen haben kein Wahlrecht...