[ End of article ]

"Counter-Current": Finns in the Overseas Return Migration Movement

Keijo Virtanen

From the point of view of an overall study of overseas migration, research on return migration must concern itself with four phases: life in the country of origin, emigration, life in the host country, and return. Theoretically, the phenomenon of migration is a continuous circle which the migrant travels; return may lead to a new departure, and so on, but one day the circle stops, either in the host country or in the country of origin (see Figure 1). In the investigation of return migration, these four phases must be analysed.1 The study of mere emigration can stay only in the category of "Emigration". Correspondingly, study of immigrants in the host country can concentrate only on that category.

The point of departure here may be taken as the statement by the British statistician E.G. Ravenstein in 1885 to the effect that every current of migration movement occasions a compensatory counter-current.2 However, it would be too mechanical a research method simply to treat the return migration as a counter-current; that cannot be taken as the basis for an historical explanation.3 The emigrants were faced with two alternatives: to settle in the new country, or to return. The dichotomy between return and nonreturn will be seen here both on the macro and micro levels: that is, the general and personal factors for leaving or staying in the host country will be discussed. The central aim of this article is thus to analyse a certain phenomenon: return migration of the Finns, taking into account the dichotomy between emigrants (emigrating between the 1860s and 1930) who returned, and those who did not; and examining the framework of theoretical generalizations which have originated in mobility studies already completed. However, as an historical phenomenon, return migration is such a complex problem that those generalizations will be used mainly as a tool of the investigation. But at the same time, they will help to place the Finnish overseas return migration in a wider international context.

So far European research into overseas migration has paid very little attention to the counter-current, or return migration. The reason is not the failure to recognize the relevance of its investigation, so much as the absence of correspondingly comprehensive statistics to those available for emigration. The large-scale statistical study of migration published by the United States National Bureau of Economic Research in 1929 did pay a certain amount of attention to return migration, but was restricted precisely by the fact that statistics for returning emigrants were only available from five European countries (Spain, Britain, Italy, Sweden and Finland).4 Many investigators have indicated interest in the subject, but have also recognized the obstacles to research caused by the sources.5 The difficulties in the sources are still evident in studies of recent return migration: in his study of immigration in Canada after the Second World War, Anthony H. Richmond is forced by the lack of reliable data to offer no more than estimates of the strength of the return migration.6 The same also applies to intra-European migration.7

In general, the most thorough research to date on the overseas return migration has been carried out on Swedish8 and Italian9 material. Also the works on the Greeks10 and the Irish11 must be mentioned even though they are quite limited and superficial. The Finns form one of the rare nationalities into whose migration thorough research is possible. The sources, however, are composed of a combination of a large number of different pieces. While emigration is a mass phenomenon, the collection of evidence has to be carried out at the level of the individual, due to the absence of comprehensive and reliable material. A number of sample areas are therefore needed, but they must be complemented by the plentiful other research material available.12

The model developed by the American scholar Everett S. Lee to describe the factors influencing the process of mobility can be applied in its main outlines to the analysis of the Finnish return migration:

Figure 1
Figure 1. The Phases of Overseas Migration Phenomenon as a Continuous Circle.

In the present article it is relevant to analyse especially the factors connected with the receiving area, emphasizing the return from Canada. Moreover, it is not possible to separate Lee's third category for distinct treatment, since the obstacles to return mainly arise precisely in the receiving country. It should also be stressed that the obstacles were both general and personal in character. However, it is logical to start with the factors connected with the area of origin; simultaneously the Finnish return migration can be compared to that of the other ethnic groups.

The division between the "old" and "new" migration originated in the report of the Dillingham Commission's investigation of immigration into the United States, which was published in 1911. The "new" immigrants were mainly classified as those originating from eastern and southern Europe, while the "old" immigrants were those from central Europe and Scandinavia. The first criterion was the date of the beginnings of migration from a particular country. In addition, it was seen as characteristic of the new immigrants that their migration was transitory in nature; they were regarded as temporary labour in the host country who would subsequently return to their country of origin. A further characteristic of the new immigrants was that they worked mainly in the big cities, not in the countryside like the old immigrants. It was also noted that virtually all of the new immigrants were men.14

The emigration from Finland took on the nature of a mass movement at a later date (in the 1870s) than from many central European and Scandinavian countries; but against this, it was already in full swing when the movement overseas from some of the countries in southern Europe was still only beginning (at the turn of the century).15 The beginnings of the emigration proper from Finland thus fall somewhere in the middle of the European development.

The analysis of the Finnish return migration and its comparison with the movements from the Scandinavian countries reveals considerable similarities. The Finnish return rate among those emigrating between the 1860s and 1930 was about one-fifth (of the 380,000 emigrants about 75,000 returned permanently), which is on the same scale as in Sweden and Denmark.16 The situation was quite different in countries such as Italy and Greece, which were typical new migration countries, where a very large proportion of the migrants returned home, perhaps subsequently to commute overseas to work again.17

The return migration to Britain (an old migration country) was also very high,18 so that the division by reference to the return rate or to the impermanent nature of the migration cannot be sustained in the Finnish case, which has been defined as belonging to the new migration. A related point is that the Finnish return was nowhere near as dependent on economic cycles as that of the countries in southern Europe. The Finnish return migration was not a mass movement to the same extent as the original emigration.

In the analysis of the factors connected strictly with the area of origin in the Finnish return we can first say that only just over 10 per cent of the Finnish emigrants originated from towns;19 and they were even less strongly represented in the return migration, since the urban return rate was only around 5 to 10 per cent of those emigrating. This is partly due to emigrants having first moved from the surrounding countryside to the town for a time before moving on overseas from there, whereas in many cases these first-stage migrants would return to countryside directly.

Farmers and crofters returned relatively more frequently than their children, and the latter in turn more frequently than members of the landless population. Farmers and crofters usually returned permanently, whereas their children often migrated more than once, due to their lack of a sure source of livelihood in Finland. In the return, a general finding is that the older the migrant was at emigration, the more likely he or she was subsequently to return to Finland, with the exception of those over 50 at emigration, whose return rate was low. Overall though, the returning migrants were still in the prime of their working lives at return, since about two-thirds of those returning permanently were aged 21-40.

There were relatively more men in the Finnish emigration than in that from Sweden. The main reason for this was that the Finnish emigration was more rural in origin than the Swedish;20 the proportion of women was higher from the towns than it was from the country. Around two-thirds of the emigrants from Finland as a whole were men.21 Even so, in terms of the old/new migration division, the Finnish emigration was not exceptionally male-dominated, since men made up a considerably higher proportion of the emigrants from some southern European countries than from Finland.22 The return rate for men was relatively much higher than that for the women; consequently the return migration was even more male-dominated than the emigration. Married male emigrants normally returned after a few years to rejoin their families, whereas wives did not usually emigrate without their husbands, while if they were emigrating together with their families or to join husbands who had already gone abroad, this also considerably reduced the likelihood of their return. Thus 75 to 85 per cent of the migrants permanently returning to Finland were men. About three-quarters of the emigrants were unmarried, but the permanent return rate for married emigrants was much higher than that for the unmarried. Consequently nearly half of those returning permanently to Finland were married.

Turning the focus onto the receiving areas, we have to start with the fact that the main flow of the Finnish overseas emigration was directed to the continent of North America, that is, to the United States and Canada. It was not until the 1920s that other countries and continents began to attract more attention from emigrants. According to the official Emigration Statistics of Finland, 99.7 per cent of the Finnish emigrants between 1900 and 1923 went to America,23 though there is no breakdown for this period in the official statistics between North and South America. Statistics in the countries of destination, however, indicate that during this period a total of 216,850 Finnish immigrants arrived in the United States, and 29,928 in Canada.24 In the period before the First World War, from 1883 to 1914, the shipping lines' passenger lists record only 763 Finnish travellers to South Africa, and 299 to Australia or New Zealand, as against a total number of pre-1914 emigrants of over 300,00025 Since it is also known that the number of Finnish immigrants into Brazil in between 1916 and 1924 amounted to no more than a few dozen,26 a clear picture emerges of the direction of the overseas emigration.

From 1924 onward, the Finnish Emigration Statistics give a more precise record of the destinations of emigrants, and these show that by 1930 Canada had taken over the leading position, since the adoption of the quota system in the United States drove the majority of would-be immigrants elsewhere. The United States remained nonetheless the next most important destination for the emigrants, about 9 percent of whom moved there during the period from 1924 to 1930, when the equivalent figure for Canada was 80 percent. Outside Europe, the next most important country was Australia (3 percent), followed by South and Central America (less than 2 percent). There were even fewer emigrants travelling to Asia or Africa. European countries, mainly Sweden and the Soviet Union, absorbed altogether about 6 percent of the Finnish emigrants in this period.27 To sum up for Canada, 55,000 to 60,000 Finns moved there directly from Finland between the late nineteenth century and 1930.28

The United States and Canada, therefore, constituted the most important destination for Finnish overseas emigrants, and the return migration ratio from North America was around one in five; and the analysis of the various features of the return rate, and the composition of the return migration, also mainly refer to the North American migration because the other destinations represent a mere drop in the stream of the Finnish overseas migration. However, it is worth noting that the migration to Australia was exceptional: the return rate was extremely high (of about 2,000 emigrants,29 or approximately 50 percent returned). The main reason for this was that Australia was a second-choice country of destination; nor did there emerge supportive Finnish communities to the same extent as in many parts of North America. The Australian immigrants also took up work which was not binding in nature. Even higher return rates than that from Australia occurred among the Finnish emigrants to South America and South Africa, where well over half soon came back; roughly 1,000 in each case had emigrated before 1930.30

These countries or continents of "small" immigration were thus unable to attract or retain immigrants to anything like the same extent as North America, as is illustrated both by the emigration and by the return. Sune Åkerman's hypothesis, that increasing distance had a diminishing effect on the return migration rate,31 is thus not borne out when the Finnish emigrations to North America and other continents are compared. The actual conditions in the receiving area, and the migrants' expectations are suggested as more important explanatory factors than the distance between the country of origin and of immigration.

Since almost all of the Finnish emigrants headed for North America, it will now be examined which factors affected the volume of return from different parts of the continent. This entire question must be approached obliquely, since there is no direct method or source available on how the return migrants had settled in different parts of North America. The impact of host areas on the return must be studied, therefore, by first establishing the orientation of the emigration from a particular area in Finland, by then establishing the employment opportunities available in the host country, and finally by establishing the return migrants' last place of residence and employment before their return home.

The Finnish immigrants in the United States settled in the northern states, from the Atlantic seaboard to the Pacific coast, and in Canada mainly in Ontario and British Columbia.32 They were often employed in casual work in nature. The first job obtained by the men was typically in mining, forestry or in a factory, while the women usually worked in service occupations. The work women obtained tended to help them to assimilate to American or Canadian society in a way which was not true of the men's work, and their employment was also much less sensitive to economic fluctuations than that of the men; these are contributory factors in the relatively lower return rate for women than for men.

With the passage of time many men began to establish farms, which had the effect of binding the immigrant to his adopted country. The second choice was to return to Finland. The third choice would be to move to a city and take up some urban occupation. Detroit, for example, began to exercise a strong attraction to a variety of ethnic groups in the second decade of the twentieth century, thanks to the automotive industry. This movement largely consisted of internal migration within the host country, as I have shown in an earlier investigation.33 Moving from mining or forestry onto a farm of one's own was thus not the only form of internal mobility (and thus of reduced likelihood of return migration). The city jobs, on the other hand, were sensitive to swings in the economy, leading to unemployment during depressions and in many cases to return migration even after a relatively long stay abroad. In general it can be said, however, that unlike the typical new migrants, Finnish immigrants did not usually work in large gangs in the cities, as did the Italians34 and Greeks35 Apart from mining and forest labour, the occupation most followed by the Finns was in agriculture, the "right" form of livelihood for the old migrants, according to the Dillingham Commission.

The return rate appears to have been highest in the eastern states and provinces, and to have weakened as one moves west to the Pacific coast. One reason for this is a form of migration in stages: when an immigrant began to search for a new place to live further west, this usually meant the gradual abandonment of the idea of returning. A further factor was the availability of different kinds of work in the various parts of North America. The eastern regions were far more important places of immigrant residence immediately on arrival than a few years later. Thus internal mobility within the host country did have a significant effect on the ties of the immigrant to his adopted country.

When we look at Canada separately it is easy to see that the great majority of the returning migrants came from Ontario, since this was also the major area of Finnish settlement (by 1930 there were almost as many Finns there as in the State of New York, where the third-largest number of Finns in the United States had settled).36 There were also a significant number returning from the Province of Quebec, mainly from Montreal. The return rate from western Canada appears to have been extremely low, despite the fact that this was the second most important region of Finnish settlement in Canada. This conforms closely to the geographical pattern of distribution in the return migration noted above. British Columbia, especially Vancouver and the surrounding area, have in fact become something of a "Finnish-Canadian Florida", with many Finns having moved there during the last two or three decades.

In Canada-as also in the United States-it is noticeable that there was heavy return migration from the cities, such as Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, and from the important centres of the mining and timber industries, such as Port Arthur, Sudbury and South Porcupine in Ontario; the jobs there were transitory and also very sensitive to fluctuations in the economy.

It is somewhat complicated to give a categorical answer to the question whether there was any difference in the return rate from the United States as a whole and from Canada as a whole, since migrants moved freely from one place to another and even from country to country in search of work. The sources also cause difficulties in approaching this question.37 It is however noticeable that the return rate among those emigrating to Canada from the sample areas of my research-about 25 per cent-was distinctly higher than the overall return rates for these areas. This information covers mainly the 1920s, since before the First World War it was unusual to distinguish between the United States and Canada in the passport lists, for example. The overall return rate among persons emigrating in this period was higher than among persons who emigrated earlier. This was partly due to the choice of destination but also to other factors, in particular the improvements in transport and communications.

When these factors are taken into consideration, it cannot be said that the desire to return tended to be higher in either of these host countries as such; rather, the primary factor was the working and living conditions of the immigrants in the different regions of North America. Moreover, the later date of the peak of emigration to Canada meant in itself that the preconditions for return were more favourable (though even so it cannot be compared with the return, at approximately the same period, from Australia). According to this analysis, therefore, the horizontal (east-west) factor was more important in the return rate than the vertical (United States - Canada) factor. Simultaneously Åkerman's view that the return migration rate falls with increasing distance38 is relevant in North America.

The geographical factors cannot be regarded as crucial, however; rather, they closely relate to the occupations pursued by immigrants, and to internal movements within the host country. There was a mutual interaction between the area of settlement and the occupations followed there, which, in conjunction, led Finnish immigrants to remain abroad even though their motives at departure would have suggested a high rate of return.39 Nor should it be overlooked that the large absolute number of Finnish immigrants in North America in comparison with the other continents led to the emergence of centres of settlement, which in themselves furthered the process of assimilation. The tendency of Finnish immigrants to settle in the countryside and their eagerness to set up farms of their own must have been a particularly strong bond tying them to the United States and Canada.

Finally, we need to analyse the strictly personal factors influencing the decision of migrants to return or not; these take on greater significance in the return since this did not have the same mass features as the emigration. The predominant motive for emigration, both in Finland and in many other countries, was the search for better earnings and a subsequent return home. Consequently, if migrants were going to decide to return, they would do so rather soon after arrival overseas. Thus over half of the Finnish migrants who returned did so within five years of emigration, and similar phenomena are identifiable in the migration patterns of many countries both of the old and the new migrations.40

The achievement of their objectives, however, was not the only motive for migrants to return, since adversities might also send them back. The most frequent cause of return was probably homesickness, arising from a failure to adapt to the host country, and this was at its strongest soon after arrival. The following description by an immigrant of her arrival in Canada in 1922 may serve as an illustration:

Let me tell you a bit what sort of impression you got when you arrived in Canada as an immigrant from Finland. We lived for six months in Niegara Falls [sic]. And my husband, he was working for the Hydro, for the Electricity. And for the Public Works in Kapperliff [Copper Cliff]. The Finnish-Canadians, those who'd gone there earlier, were nasty to newcomers, that much, sometimes, that people sometimes got done in. Sort of by accident. They hated Finns, because they suspected they were what they called Butchers [a reference to the reprisals in the Finnish Civil War in 1918]. It was only the Communists who went on like that. So we decided to get out of there, and we went to Vindsor (sic), and then on to Detroit. There were lots of communists in Detroit too, but they didn't insist on a party card, like they did in Niegara. There was a Finnish parish in Detroit, with a church and everything. But you know, the life that the Finns led there, it was pretty boring. Work, that was what they talked about all the time . . .whenever the men got together, the first question was always, What shift're you on? And conversation was mostly, just about work....41

The longer the lapse of time from the migrant's arrival in the country, the less likely became his or her return to the home country. With the passage of the years came increasing familiarity with life in the new country, with the result that (in comparison with the motives at the time of emigration) return was very rare. The following extract describes this aspect:

Well at that time [in the 1920s] life in Canada [sic] was very difficult for the Finns cause the Finns who'd emigrated didn't know any English so they couldn't complain to the Canadian authorities .... Well in the end the Canadian authorities did something about it and life changed for the better. There was a Finnish Society set up and everyone was supposed to belong to it. It wasn't anything to do with parties but you weren't allowed to be a communist ...42

Not only did the culture of the host country cause difficulties of adaptation for the immigrants, but as these extracts indicate, there were also tensions operating within the ethnic groups which aroused controversy. These were probably not of great significance in relation to the return; on the contrary, with the growth of the numbers of Finns in a particular area conditions were likely to become more pleasant.

Against this, the overall situation in the country of origin was one factor to diminish the probability of return: that is, the economic conditions at emigration, and the critical attitudes toward migration.43 These memories were a counterweight to homesickness. A positive change happened only in the 1920s. Evidently the reason why increasing attention began to be paid to improving communications and contacts was that the emigration came to be seen as a fait accompli, in which case it was no longer justified to adopt the critical attitude toward the migrants as before the First World War; rather, it was hoped that with the improvement of contacts, some of them might then return.44 It can be said that this was a contributing factor to the higher return rate for those who emigrated in the 1920s.

The analysis of return migration as such does not include answering the question as to how many migrants would have returned if they had had the opportunity. However, from the point of view of the decision between return and non-return this is of interest. Unfortunately, it is impossible to obtain any exact information but some facts may have a bearing on this question. Migrants who were unable to afford the journey home were entitled to receive a repatriation grant from the United States government in the early 1930s at least. The conditions were that the immigrant must have arrived in the country legally and that he or she must not have been in the country for longer than three years.45 There are no data available on how many actually applied for this assistance, but we do know-on the basis of the estimate made by the shipping companies-that about 10 percent of those returning had been so unsuccessful abroad that their families in Finland had to send them the price of the ticket for return.46 In the early 1970s there were still old Finnish lumberjacks living in the "hotels" in Duluth, Minnesota, who had stayed there for decades with no real contacts to the world outside, not even the Finnish community. We may presume that many of them would have returned to Finland during the depression years of the 1930s if they had had money for the return ticket. It can be estimated that the price of the return ticket was about the same as one month's wages; a hardworking immigrant could save about a half of the wages in the decade before the First World War, since living in the host country took about the other half. In other words, the immigrant planning to return had to save for two months, which was still considerably less than the amount he had had to collect when he emigrated.47 In any case, the price of the return ticket was too much for some.

Return did not necessarily mean that the migrants would be happy back in Finland either, however. During their years of absence, changes had taken place in their home area, as also in the migrants themselves, sometimes creating an insuperable tension. About 10 percent of all the Finnish migrants made two or more journeys overseas in the period up to 1930; but relatively more of those who made at least two trips returned permanently to Finland and attempted to readjust to Finnish conditions without succeeding and therefore decided to re-emigrate was, nevertheless, more drawn to his or her old home area even at a later stage than those emigrants who only made a single journey. Similarly, those who had already moved at least once inside Finland before emigrating overseas were more likely to return than those who had lived all their lives in one place before emigrating. The former group were more used to moving, so that the return was also easier for them. On the other hand, the differences in the return rate between these groups are not big; it was quite low also among those migrants who had emigrated more than once.

In general, however, returning migrants had a relatively good chance of readjusting to life back home, primarily due to the fact that in most cases they had only been abroad a few years. They also tended to be fairly well-off when they returned; and since they often invested their savings either in farming or some other form of real estate,48 this too was likely to strengthen their ties to the area they had settled in and to lead to the abandonment of any ideas of re-emigration overseas.

The returning migrants brought new influences back with them, which they tried to put into practice in Finland. But since the numbers returning to Finland were so small, this impact is not as clearly identifiable as for instance in southern Europe, where the economic significance of the return migration, in particular, was considerable49 In Finland, too, the most easily recognizable impact of the returning migrants was in the economy, and in rural areas in the regions of high emigration this could even be quite striking.

The returning migrants also wished to use the "mental capital" they had acquired abroad, and their success in this depended on the attitude in their home area to the various kinds of new ideas they held. Intellectual, political and moral ideas were more likely to encounter an emotional reception than economic influence, depending on the attitudes and value judgments of the people involved. For example, the local population's own views on political matters determined whether the influences brought with them by the migrants were seen positively or negatively. A comment by a returning migrant is also illuminating:

At that time [in the 1920s] moral life in Canada [sic] was much cruder than in Finland, and the kind of language used about morality, too. Emigrants who came back had to be careful not to talk too crudely. People used to talk very soberly in those days round Härmä.50

The reactions of the rest of the population to these ideas either hindered or assisted the returning migrant's readjustment and settling down. In general the returning migrants do not appear to "have caused much irritation in the surrounding community, however; there were simply too few returning migrants for their impact to be identifiable.

Seen in terms of Finland as a whole, the low absolute numbers explain why the returning migrants did not have any significant influence in the majority of areas; but in some places (such as the high emigration regions in Ostrobothnia), they could play an important role. Those returning also included a number of people who, following their return, rose to positions of importance within Finland, especially in the labour movement. Such persons form the exceptions, however, for the majority of returning migrants only exercised an impact on very restricted communities. One of the migrants returning to Finland in 1932 crystallized - though somewhat pointedly and one-sidedly - the impact of the return migration:

Those American or Canadian emigrants who were working in the forests, or other kinds of casual work, had very limited opportunities to participate in social, political, or cultural activities, so I don't think they had anything to offer in these fields. They might have new ideas to do with the economy though. I don't think there were any big differences in morality.51

The central features of the Finnish return migration having thus been unravelled, Figure 2 crystallizes the factors which on the macro and micro levels influenced the dichotomy between the settlement overseas or permanent return to Finland. This model is of course simplified, and the categories in it include a lot of special features discussed above. In any case, it helps us to locate the main points of the dichotomy. Nevertheless, it should be remembered that it is not entirely possible to keep even the general and personal factors separate; they frequently complement each other. For example, the intervening obstacles influencing the return or nonreturn were both general and personal in character, as was pointed out in the beginning of the present analysis; therefore the model does not separate these for distinct treatment (they are included in the other categories). The model, however, summarizes our discussion on the decision of the migrant, whether to remain or return.

In terms of the return migration in a wider context, the final balance of the Finnish overseas migration was definitely negative, for Finland only regained 75,000 of the 380,000 persons who had emigrated overseas prior to 1930 (the equivalent figure for Canada alone would be 12,000-14,000 out of 55,000-60,000). The final balance in a new migration country such as Italy was quite different, where the economy visibly prospered from the busy movement back and forth between Italy and the overseas countries and from the capital brought back with them by those returning. The analy sis also demonstrates that the Finnish migrants cannot unambiguously be classified under the heading over a new migration; rather, in its main features the Finnish migration showed extensive similarities with that from the Nordic countries, and differed radically from the overseas migration movement in southern European countries, which was essentially a temporary phenomenon, a form of intercontinental commuting to work. The application of the terms old and new migration as such in this context is thus rendered rather questionable, since on many of the component features, the analysis of the "counter-current"; in other words, the return migration in relation to the emigration, shows the division to be contradictory.

Figure 2
Figure 2. Central Macro- and Micro-level Factors Influencing the Probability of Settlement or Return.

The alternatives confronting the migrant, to settle in the new country or to return to the old one, depended on extremely complex interactions of factors, which this article has attempted to illuminate in terms of certain central concerns. Unquestionably, the low number of those returning is a crucial factor in the history of the Finnish overseas migration, even if it does not on its own permit conclusions to be drawn on the significance of the migration for the Finnish society from the 1860s to the present day. The return migration itself, however, constitutes an important subcomponent in the migration movement between Europe and the overseas countries, and the present investigation thus forms a piece of basic research, opening up the field by concentrating on one ethnic group. It is hoped that it will establish the framework within which broader and more far-reaching generalizations can be made within a European perspective.


1. The present article is based on the extensive research material I have collected for my monograph, & titled Settlement or Return: Finnish Emigrants (1860-1930) in the International Overseas Return Migration Movement (Forssa, 1979). The quantitative analysis derives mainly from the Finnish passport lists, passenger lists of the shipping companies, church records, and district court registrars' records. The qualitative aspect consists of interview questionnaires, personal recollections, memoirs, etc. Thus the central research findings and typologies of this article are based on these materials unless otherwise stated. It also should be mentioned that the core of the study is found from six sample areas around Finland; all the emigrations and all the returns of each emigrant from these areas have been unravelled. The larger monograph compares the return migration of the Finns with that of some other ethnic groups. The present article aims to emphasize the Finnish return migration from the Canadian point of view, however, even though the general perspective is global. Thus the point of view here differs from that of the larger study.

2. E. G. Ravenstein, "The Laws of Migration", Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, XLVIII, Part 2 (June 1885), p. 199.

3. See Lars-Göran Tedebrand, "Re-emigration from America to Sweden", in Harald Runblom and Hans Norman, eds., From Sweden to America: A History of the Migration. (Uppsala, 1976), p. 205.

4. International Migrations. Volume 1. Statistics. Compiled on behalf of the International Labour Office, Geneva with introduction and notes by Imre Ferenczi and edited on behalf of the National Bureau of Economic Research by Walter F. Willcox (St. Albans, 1929), pp. 204-5.

5. See, for example, Kristian Hvidt, Flugten til Amerika. Eller drivkraefter i nrasseudvandringen fra Danmark 1868-1914 (Odense, 1971), p. 325; Wolfgang Hell "Amerikanisch-deutsche Riickwanderung", in " . . . nach Amerika!" Auswanderung in die Vereinigten Staaten. Ausstellung aus Anlass der Unabhängigkeitserkärung der Vereinigten Staaten von Arnerika am 4. Juli 1776 (Hamburg, 1976), p. 55. On the international state of sources, see also Tedebrand (1976), pp. 203-4. On the sources of Finnish migration, see Keijo Virtanen, "Sources for the Study of Migration in the Archives of Finland", Francis X. Blouin, Jr., Robert M. Warner, eds., in Sources for the Study of Migration and Ethnicity. A Guide to Manuscripts in Finland, Ireland Poland, The Netherlands, and the State of Michigan. (Ann Arbor, 1979), pp. 191-94.

6. Anthony H. Richmond, Post-War Immigrants in Canada (Toronto, 1967), p. 229.

7. See, for example, Dusica Seferagic, "Scientific Work in Yugoslavia on Migrant Returnees and Their Impact on the Mother Country", International Migration Review, 11, no. 3 (Staten Island, 1977), pp. 363-64.

8. Especially John S. Lindberg, The Background of Swedish Emigration to the United States. An Economic and Sociological Study in the Dynamics of Migration (Minneapolis, 1930); Lars-Göran Tedehrand, Västernorrland och Noesmweik' 1875-1913. Utvandring och återinvandring (Uppsala, 1972); Lars-Göran Tedebrand, "De som vände hem. Återinvandringen från Nordamerika till Sverige före första världskriget", in Utvandring. Den svenska emigrationen till Amerika i historiskt perspektiv. Redigerad av Ann-Sofie Kälvemark (Malmö, 1973); Tedebrand (1976). The content of Tedebrand's works is approximately the same, but published in different contexts.

9. Especially Robert F. Foerster, The Italian Emigration of Our Times. 2nd. ed. (Cambridge, Mass., 1924); Francesco Cerase, "The Return to Italy. Nostalgia or Disenchantment: Considerations on Return Migration", Silvano M. Tomasi and Madeline H. Engel, eds. in The Italian Experience in the United States. (Staten Island, 1970); Betty Boyd Caroli, Italian Repatriation front the United States, 1900-1914 (New York, 1973).

10. Theodore Saloutos, They Remember America: The Story of the Repatriated Greek-Americans (Berkeley, 1956).

11. Arnold Schrier, Ireland and the American Emigration 1850-1900 (Minneapolis, 1958).

12. See footnote 1.

13. Everett S. Lee, "A Theory of Migration", in Demography 3, no. 1 (1966), pp. 49-50.

14. See Maldwyn Allen Jones, American Immigration (Chicago, 1960), pp. 177-80, 323.

15. Cf. Saloutos, pp. 1-2; Schrier, pp. 9, 158-159.

16. Cf. Hvidt, pp. 327-28; Tedebrand (1972), p. 223.

17. Foerster, p. 23; Lindberg, p. 252, fn. 2; Saloutos, pp. 29-30; Carob, pp. 49-50; Tedebrand (1973), p. 245.

18. International Migrations I, pp. 204-5; see also Caroli, pp. 6-8.

19. Reino Kero, Migration from Finland to North America in the Years between the United States Civil War and the First World War (Vammala, 1974), p. 55.

20. Ibid., pp. 93-94.

21. Ann-Leena Toivonen, Etelä-Pohjanmaan valtamerentakainen siirtolaisuus 1867-1930 (Seinäjoki, 1963), pp. 49-50.

22. See Saloutos, p. 7.

23. Suomen Virallinen Tilasto (SVT) XXVIII (The Official Finnish Emigration Statistics): Siirtoiaisuustilasto 2, p. 22; SVT XXVIII: 18, p. 23. The number of emigrants departing in 1900-1923 was 259,682, of whom 259,023 went to America.

24. International Migrations I, pp. 364-65, 452.

25. Kero, appendices A and F.

26. International Migrations I, p. 552.

27. SVT XXVIII: 21, p. 13. The absolute numbers of emigrants during 1924-1930 were as follows: Canada 28,090, United States 3,212, Australia and New Zealand 1,066, South America 494, Central America 71, Africa 62, Asia 40, Sweden 1,103, Soviet Union 536, the rest of Europe 772, destination unknown 6; total 35,452.

28. See Yrjö Raivio, Kanadan suomalaisten historia I (Vancouver, 1975), pp. 113-14. Raivio's figure (55,557) is based on the Canadian statistics, but the number of Finnish emigrants during the late nineteenth century is not known.

29. Olavi Koivukangas, "Finnish Migration to Australia before World War II. Area of Origin and Migration Characteristics", in Vilho Niitemaa ed., Publications of the Institute of General History, University of Turku, Finland. Nr. 4. Studies. (Turku, 1972), p. 31.

30. For South America, Olavi Lähteenmäki, "Siirtolaisuus Suomesta Etelä-Amerikkaan. Pioneerivaihe." (Phil. lic. thesis, University of Turku, 1975), pp. 109-11, 198-201, 289-90, 338-42; for South Africa, Eero Kuparinen, "Suomalainen siirtolaisuus Etelä-Afrikkaan ennen ensimmäistä maailmansotaa" (MA thesis, University of Turku, 1978), pp. 156, 163, 168-71, 196.

31. Sune Åkerman, "Theories and Methods of Migration Research", in Harald Runblom and Hans Norman, eds., From Sweden to America. A History of the Migration. (Uppsala, 1976), p. 21.

32. For the United States, see US Census of Population 1910, 1920, and 1930; for Canada, see Raivio, pp. 119, 138. Raivio cites and refers to the Canadian census statistics.

33. Keijo Virtanen, "The Influence of the Automotive Industry on the Ethnic Picture of Detroit Michigan, 1900-1940", in Vilho Niitemaa and Keijo Virtanen eds., Publications of the Institute of History, General History, University of Turku, Finland. Nr. 9. Studies. (Vaasa, 1977), passim.

34. Foerster, p. 41; see also Caroli, pp. 56-57.

35. Saloutos, p. 11.

36. See US Census of Population 1930; Raivio, p. 138.

37. The major sources, passport lists and parish records, usually only state "America" or "North America" as the emigrant's destination, and this remains true up to the 1920s. The mobility of the immigrants within North America also gives rise to difficulties of definition: e.g., which migrants should be considered to have returned from Canada and which from the United States.

38. Åkerman, p. 21; see also p. 7 of the present article on other continents.

39. This conclusion is derived from the questionnaires sent out in 1974 to Finnish migrants resident in Finland (reference at the Department of History, University of Turku; TYYH/S/1/7001-7328); see Rafael Engelberg, Suomi ja Arnerikan suomalaiset. Keskinäinen yhteys ja sen rakentaminen (Helsinki, 1944), p. 58.

40. See Foerster, p. 35; Ingrid Semmingsen, Veien mot vest. Annen del. Utvandringen fra Norge 1865-1915 (Oslo, 1950), p. 460; Saloutos, p. 51; Richmond, p. 231; Tedebrand (1972), p. 252; Caroli, p. 50.

41. Reference at the Department of History, University of Turku; TYYH/S/ 1/7061. This and the following quotations are free translations from Finnish.

42. Reference: TYYH/S/1/7104.

43. See, for example, Matti Tarkkanen, Siirtolaisuudesta. Kolmas painos (Mikkeli, 1902), pp. 25-26.

44. Teo Snellman, Ulkokansalaistoiminta ja siirtolaisten huolto I (Helsinki, 1929), p. 10; Paavo Salonen, "Turun sanomalehdistön suhtautuminen siirtolaisuuteeu vuosina 1900-1930", in Turun Historiallinen Arkisto XX (Turku, 1967), pp. 100, 124-25.

45. See Industrialisti (Industrialist) newspaper (Duluth) June, 27 1931.

46. See Engelberg, p. 382.

47. The wage of a farmhand or a lumberjack in Finland was two or three Finnish marks a day during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, but two or three dollars a day in the United States; one dollar was more than five Finnish marks in the early 1900s (Toivonen, pp. 145-46).

48. These conclusions are derived from questionnaires sent out to Finnish migrants resident in Finland: 1969 (reference: TYYH/S/5001-6268); 1974 (reference: TYYH/S/1/7001-7328).

49. See Saloutos, pp. 117-21, 123-24, 130-31; Carob, pp. 57-61, 93, 98-99.

50. Reference: TYYH/S/1/7161.

51. Reference: TYYH/S/1/7234.

Published in Finnish Diaspora I: Canada, South America, Africa, Australia and Sweden, Ed. by Michael G. Karni. Papers of the Finn Forum conference, held in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, November 1-3, 1979. 1981, p. 183-201.

© Keijo Virtanen

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