Krister Björklund:Finns Over the Atlantic. An Overview of the Emigration from Finland to North America. Institute of Migration, Turku 2005. 22 pages. Illustrated.

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Finns Over the Atlantic

Finns Over the Atlantic

The mass migration to North America started from Great Britain and Central Europe in the beginning of the 19th century. In that great flood of immigration over the Atlantic the Finns formed only a small fraction. When the big exodus from Finland started around 1900, they arrived on the average over a generation later than the other Scandinavians. There was no longer free land handed out, and many Finns had to take on the toughest jobs in the forests and the mines. Their situation improved gradually through hard work – By the 1930’s only ten per cent of those who had migrated prior to World War I were working as miners, whereas one third of them had either a farm or a business of their own.

The Finnish emigrants and their descendants have done well for themselves in America and many have achieved positions of prominence in different walks of life. As Finland has changed from an emigration country to an immigration country, the experiences of the emigrants in America is proving valuable to present-day Finns in dealing with their own world.

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