Tuesday. 31.03.2020
El tiempo

Foreign population grows in Finland while the native decreases

The number of people speaking Finnish, Swedish or Sami as their native language went down last year, while the number of foreign-language speakers grew.
Foreign population grows in Finland while the native decreases

Finland’s population grew by 7,373 persons in 2019, according to Statistics Finland's last figures on population structure.

However, the natives seem to be in retreat: the official numbers show how the number of persons speaking Finnish, Swedish or Sami as their native language went down by 13,525 persons last year, while the number of foreign-language speakers grew by 20,898 persons.

The official total population of Finland at the end of 2019 was 5,525,292. During the last year, the population grew in 54 and diminished in Finnish 256 municipalities. The biggest absolute increase in population was seen in Espoo (6,099 people), in Helsinki (5,793) and in Vantaa (5,609). And foreign-language speakers accounted for 71% of the population growth in the Helsinki region.

Foreign-population-1981-2019Source: Statistics Finland.

More than 400,000 residents

A total of 412,644 persons speaking a foreign language as their native language were living permanently in Finland at the end of 2019. The proportion of foreign-language speakers in the total population is 7%. These figures do not include people who are temporarily in the country, for example exchange students and some workers with short-term contracts.

The biggest foreign-language speaking groups were Russian speakers (81,606 people), Estonian speakers (49,427), and Arabic speakers (31,920).

Examined by region, the share of foreign-language speakers was at the end of 2019 highest in the region of Uusimaa, 14% of the population, and lowest in South Ostrobothnia (2%).

Examined by municipality, the share of foreign-language speakers among the population was highest in Vantaa (20%), Espoo (18%) and in Helsinki (16%).

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