The countries where ISIS recruiting is most effective might surprise you
Published: Apr 29, 2016 5:44 p.m. ET
There are plenty of reasons to visit Finland: The sunlit evening skiing, the saunas, the gorgeous views of the Northern Lights, the food scene, etc.
Here’s one that isn’t on that list: Finland’s Muslim population is the most likely to join ISIS, according to a recent study from the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Max Galka of the Metrocosm blog crunched the data and came up with this map showing where ISIS recruitment appears to be most effective. In general, the rates are the highest in the developed western countries, with Finland topping the list.
As you can see here, Belgium, Ireland and Sweden round out the top four. Interestingly, the same number of ISIS recruits have traveled from Finland as have from Pakistan, which has a Muslim population 4,000 times the size of the much smaller Nordic country.
The U.S. is relatively low on the list, coming in at 36, between Moldova and Tajikistan
Read: The countries where ISIS finds the most support
“The finding is consistent with several other studies that have found overwhelmingly negative views of ISIS in majority-Muslim countries,” Galka wrote, adding that the fighters tend to come from countries where Muslims are culturally isolated.
Read: How much money goes into fighting and funding ISIS
Contrary to popular belief, economics do not appear to be the driving factor in who decides to join. Instead, it's the countries with high economic development and low income inequality that create a larger percentage of ISIS fighters, the data shows.
For comparison, here is the same map, but in terms of the absolute numbers: