Elli Heikkilä

Research director +358 40 069 5452

PhD, docent

  • Immigrants in the labour market
  • Multicultural marriages
  • International students
  • Unaccompanied refugee children
  • Expatriate Finns
  • Internal migration
  • Regional development


I am interested in the various forms of migration and migration flows. My research concerning immigration includes studies on immigrants in the labour market and multicultural marriages. As regards emigration, I have carried out research on Finnish emigration and expatriate Finns. In the context of internal migration, seasonal migration and commuting in the tourism sector are among the new topics examined in addition to studies on urbanisation.


Coming of Age in Exile (CAGE) – Health and Socio-Economic Inequities in Young Refugees in the Nordic Welfare Societies (NordForsk, 2015–2020)

Migration as a Driving Force for Municipalities – Research Project for the Regional Development of the Seinäjoki Sub-region (Seinäjoki sub-region, 2019-2021)

Seasonal Migration and Commuting in the Tourism Sector in Lapland and Koillismaa (Foundation for Economic Education, 2020–2022)

In Which Direction Is Finland Evolving? The Dynamics of Mobility and Migration. Migration Symposium 2019 report (2019–2020)

AboaNova – The Promotion of the Inclusion of Immigrants in the Turku Region (European Social Fund 2017–2020)

Hundred Apple Trees – Multicultural Finland (EUSA – Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund, AMIF, 2016–2018) (concluded)

PATH – International Talents as Resource for Expanding Companies (European Social Fund, 2015–2017) (concluded)

Essential publications

Yeasmin, Nafisa, Timo Koivurova & Elli Heikkilä (2019). A Perceived Change in Intercultural Behavior: Analyzing Self-determination for Well-Being among Youth. International Journal of Sociology 49 (4), 298–315.

Heikkilä, Elli (ed.) (2017). Immigrants and the labour markets. Experiences from abroad and Finland. Publications 17. Turku: Migration Institute of Finland. Available: http://www.migrationinstitute.fi/files/pdf/julkaisuja-sarja/j-17-isbn_978-952-7167-40-3-immigrant-labour-markets-migration-institute-of-finland-2017.pdf

Vanhanen, Sari & Elli Heikkilä (2017). Multi-professional work practices in the field of immigrant integration – examples of collaboration between the police and social work. Migration Letters 14:2, 273–284.

Heikkilä, Elli & Daniel Rauhut (eds.) (2015). Marriage Migration and Multicultural Relationships. Migration Studies C 25. Turku: Institute of Migration. Available: http://www.migrationinstitute.fi/files/pdf/c25.pdf

Heikkilä, Elli & Saara Koikkalainen (eds.) (2011). Finns Abroad – New Forms of Mobility and Migration. Migration Studies C 21. Turku: Institute of Migration. Available: http://www.migrationinstitute.fi/files/finns_abroad_c21.pdf

Elli Heikkilä & Brenda Yeoh (eds.) (2011). International Marriages in the Time of Globalization. Nova Science Publishers, Inc. New York. 196 p.

Heikkilä, Elli & Maria Pikkarainen (2008). Väestön ja työvoiman kansainvälistyminen nyt ja tulevaisuudessa. Siirtolaisuustutkimuksia A 30. Turku: Siirtolaisuusinstituutti. Saatavilla: http://www.migrationinstitute.fi/files/siirtolaisuustutkimuksia_a30_esr.pdf English Summary: http://www.migrationinstitute.fi/files/a30_summary.pdf

Edvardsson, Ingi Runar, Elli Heikkilä, Mats Johansson, Hjalti Johannesson, Daniel Rauhut, Torben Dall Schmidt, Lasse Sigbjörn Stamböl & Sirkku Wilkman (2007). Demographic Changes, Labour Migration and EU-enlargement – Relevance for the Nordic Regions. Nordic Research Programme 2005-2008. Report: 2. Stockholm: Nordregio.

Heikkilä, Elli, Peter Nijkamp, Iulia Traistaru & Saara Yousfi (2006). Extended Europe: patterns of agglomeration, migration and economic performance differentials. Hermanus S. Geyer (ed.): Global Regionalization, Core Peripheral Trends, 85-112. Cheltenham, UK, Northhampton, MA, USA: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Heikkilä, Elli (2005). Mobile vulnerabilities: perspectives on the vulnerabilities of immigrants in the Finnish labour market. Population, Space and Place 11:6, 485-497. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.