The language remains the main barrier for many foreigners when it comes to integrating in Finland.
Learning Finnish is very difficult and takes years, most foreigners say. However on a daily basis English allows newcomers to solve many of their basic needs.
The reason is that nearly all Finns learn English, statistics show. And although there are differences between different regions - living in Helsinki is not the same as living in a rural area - English is spoken by an increasing proportion of Finns.
According to Statistics Finland, nearly all students attending upper secondary general education in autumn 2019 studied English as a foreign language. A majority of students in vocational education, 95%, also studied English.
Swedish ranks second
Of students in upper secondary general education, 63% studied two languages and 36% studied three or more languages. In vocational education, the share of students studying two languages was 87%. And 3% of students in vocational education studied three or more languages.
Source: Statistics Finland.
After English, Swedish appears in second position among the most studied languages. 92% of students in upper secondary general education and 88% of students in vocational education studied Swedish.
Since 2014, the most commonly studied languages in vocational education have been English and Swedish. The order of the five most commonly studied languages in upper secondary general education has remained the same from 2014 to 2019.
The languages most commonly studied are English, Swedish, German, Spanish and French.