Saturday 10/16/21

Greater Helsinki gaining foreign immigrants, losing native population

A total of 32,898 persons moved from abroad to Finland in 2020.
Man walks in Helsinki city center, near the main railway station. Photo:
Man walks in Helsinki city center, near the main railway station. Photo:

The Greater Helsinki area barely increased its population in 2020. Its net migratory balance was positive only due to the arrival of foreign immigrants, while losing native population.

According to Statistics Finland's population figures, the total net migration of the Greater Helsinki area was 6,752 people, which is almost half that of the previous year, when the region still received a migration gain of 13,867 people.

net-migration-by-regionSource: Statistics Finland.

The gain from total net migration in the area was 8,297 people for foreign-language speakers and the loss was 1,545 people for those speaking national languages (Finnish, Swedish, Sami).

In total, Greater Helsinki lost 240 inhabitants in internal migration (to other parts of Finland).

This loss was caused entirely by those speaking national languages.

The net migration of national language-speakers to Greater Helsinki was 2,129 moves negative, while the corresponding figure for foreign-language speakers was 1,889 positive.

The Finnish authorities and organizations, when compiling statistics, classify the population according to their language of origin to avoid any distinction based on ethnicity or nationality.

Total migration gain from abroad

Finland's total migration gain from abroad rose to 17,814 people in 2020, from 15,495 in the previous year.

"The reason for the higher migration gain was especially a decrease in emigration," says Statistics Finland.

The number of emigrants from Finland was 15,084, which is over 2,000 fewer than in the previous year.

A total of 32,898 persons moved from abroad to Finland, good 100 persons more than in the year before.

Finland’s migration gain from foreign citizens was 16,705 persons, which is 94 per cent of Finland's total migration gain.

After a long negative period, net immigration by Finnish citizens turned positive, 1,109 in 2020.

People from outside the EU

Finland’s migration gain in 2020 consisted mostly of people having moved from outside the EU, which totaled 13,730 immigrants, having been over 14,000 in the previous year.

Migration gain from EU countries grew from the previous year's close on 2,000 to 4,146 migrants.

The immigration gain was largest among Russian citizens, 1,855 immigrants, and second largest among Iraqi citizens, 1,189 immigrants.

The third largest immigration gain came from Finnish citizens, especially due to the large return migration of Finnish citizens.

The coronavirus pandemic influenced this higher number of returns of Finnish nationals.