Tuesday. 25.06.2024

In Finland, the marriage rate has decreased considerably over the last decade. According to Statistics Finland's figures, in 2008 a total of 32,900 marriages of opposite sex were recorded, but in 2019 only 21,900.

This decrease was also visible in the drop in international marriages, which were 190 fewer in 2019 compared with the previous year. 

In total, more than 3,300 international marriages were concluded in Finland in which a Finnish citizen residing in Finland married a foreign citizen. This figure includes same-sex marriages.

According to the official numbers, 6.8% of women of Finnish background living permanently in Finland got married to a man of foreign origin in 2019. This share was a bit lower than in the previous year (7%).

In turn, the share of marriages between men of Finnish background and women of foreign background grew to 7% in 2019 from 5.9% in 2018.

Fewer marriages of women

In 2019, almost 1,700 international marriages were registered in which a Finnish woman married a foreign citizen. This figure includes same-sex marriages (although they are very few compared with the total) and do not include marriages of Finns while living permanently abroad.

Finnish-women-marriages-foreign-nationals-2019Source: Statistics Finland.

More marriages of men

In the case of Finnish men, the number of marriages with people of foreign origin is somewhat lower, but it is increasing. In 2019 there were almost 1,600, which represents approximately 190 more marriages than a year earlier.

The statistics do not include marriages in which Finns marry a foreigner while living abroad permanently.

Marriages-Finnish-men-with-foreign-wome-2019Source: Statistics Finland.

Women's favourites

The figures produced by the Finnish statistical office show which are the most common nationalities when it comes to getting married.

In the case of women, it is surprising at first sight that the first on the list is 'Unknown', probably referring to people who arrived in Finland from countries in conflict and have not been able to prove their citizenship to the authorities. Almost 200 of those people married a Finnish woman in 2019.

Next, the first on the list when it comes to nationalities are Iraqis. About 130 of them were married in Finland to a local woman in 2019.

Spouses from the United Kingdom (just under 100 marriages), Americans (just over 80), Russians and Turks (around 70 marriages both) are next. 

Below are the Estonians, Swedes, Gambians and Moroccans.

Finnish-women-marriages-foreign-nationals-2019Source: Statistics Finland.

Men's favourites

In the case of Finnish men residing in Finland who marry foreigners, the pattern of nationalities is quite different.

The number 1 on the list is indisputably for Thai spouses. With more than 200 marriages contracted last year, they are the favorites of the local men.

They are followed, quite far behind, by the Russians, with just over 160 marriages. The following are the Estonian, with just over 80 and then comes the Philippines, with around 70 contracted marriages.

Vietnam, China Iraq and Ukraine are next. The category 'Unknown' appears near the bottom of the list.

Finnish-men-marrying-foreign-women-2019Source: Statistics Finland.

Changes in 2019

According to Statistics Finland's asessement, in 2019 the number of marriages of Finnish women with Iraqis "clearly decreased" from the year before. In addition, there are many new spouses of Finnish women from European Union countries and some African and Asian countries.

In the case of men, the statistical office says "there is less dispersion" in the citizenship of the foreign spouses. One third of them married people from two countries, Thailand and Russia. The other groups (Estonia, the Philippines, Vietnam and China) were much smaller.

Nearly 7% of Finnish women marry foreigners