Published: 26 November 2020

English is studied most in upper secondary level education

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 per cent, also studied English. Ninety-two per cent of students in upper secondary general education and 88 per cent of students in vocational education studied Swedish. Of students in upper secondary general education, 63 per cent studied two languages and 36 per cent studied three or more languages.

Number of languages studied by students in upper secondary general and vocational education in 2019

Number of foreign languages Upper secondary general education Share of students, % Vocational education Share of students, %
0 0 0,0 3 903 2,8
1 1 008 0,9 11 151 7,9
2 66 273 63,1 122 431 86,7
3 31 536 30,0 3 110 2,2
4 5 398 5,1 475 0,3
5 658 0,6 76 0,1
6 107 0,1 13 0,0
Students total 104 980 100 ,0 141 159 100,0

The share of students in vocational education studying two languages was 87 per cent. Three per cent of students in vocational education studied three or more languages.

Languages studied by students in upper secondary general and vocational education in 2019

Language studied Upper secondary general education Share of students, % Vocational education Share of students, %
English 104 638 99,7 134 128 95,0
Swedish 96 449 91,9 123 533 87,5
Finnish 6 464 6,2 6 302 4,5
French 9 270 8,8 457 0,3
German 15 359 14,6 685 0,5
Russian 5 352 5,1 1 332 0,9
Spanish 13 577 12,9 1 012 0,7
Italian 867 0,8 33 0,0
Sami 21 0,0 0 0,0
Latin 674 0,6 5 0,0
Other 1 015 1,0 214 0,2
Students total 104 980 . 141 159 .

The order of the five most commonly studied languages in upper secondary general education has remained the same from 2014 to 2019 (see Appendix tables). The languages most commonly studied are English, Swedish, German, Spanish and French. In 2014, two languages were usually studied in upper secondary general education, and this was also the situation in 2019. The share of those studying three or more languages has decreased by around five percentage points compared to 2014.

Since 2014, the most commonly studied languages in vocational education have been English and Swedish. Two languages are also typically studied in vocational education.


Source: Education. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Vesa Hämäläinen 029 551 2594, koulutustilastot@stat.fi

Head of Department in charge: Hannele Orjala

Publication in pdf-format (225.2 kB)

Tables

Appendix tables


Updated 26.11.2020

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Subject choices of students [e-publication].
ISSN=1799-1056. Subject choices of completers of upper secondary general school education 2019. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 10.4.2021].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/ava/2019/01/ava_2019_01_2020-11-26_tie_001_en.html