Published: 19 June 2019

Number of persons with foreign background exceeded 400,000

According to Statistics Finland, there were 402,619 persons with foreign background living in Finland at the end of 2018, which was 7.3 per cent of the entire population. There were 335,414 persons of first generation with foreign background, i.e. born abroad, and 67,205 persons of second generation with foreign background, i.e. born in Finland. The number of children with foreign background has doubled in ten years.

Number of persons with foreign background in Finland in 1990 to 2018

Number of persons with foreign background in Finland in 1990 to 2018

Share of persons with African background increases in the second generation

At the end of 2018, the share of persons with European background among first-generation immigrants was over one-half (55 per cent). The share of persons with Asian background was 29 per cent and 11 per cent for persons with African background.

The share of Europeans among persons with foreign background born in Finland was 48 per cent, that of persons with Asian background 27 per cent, and 22 per cent for persons with African background. The share of persons with African background among those with foreign background is double in the second generation.

Persons of foreign background by background continent in 2018

Persons of foreign background by background continent in 2018

Persons whose background country is Russia or the former Soviet Union the biggest group

The clearly largest group of persons with foreign background was those whose background country was Russia or the former Soviet Union. There were 85,534 such persons at the end of 2018, which is one-fifth of all persons with foreign background. The next biggest groups were people of Estonian background, 49,989 persons, persons of Iraqi background, 22,336, and persons of Somali background, 20,723.

Number of persons in the population in 2008 and 2018 from the five biggest background countries in 2018

Number of persons in the population in 2008 and 2018 from the five biggest background countries in 2018
*) includes Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Rep. of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia

 

Every tenth child under school-age is of foreign background, every fourth in Greater Helsinki

The average age of persons with foreign background in the first generation was 38.2 in 2018, and that of the entire population was 42.9. The average age of persons with Finnish background was 43.6. The average age of persons of foreign background in the second generation was 11 years.

The share of under school-age children (aged 0 to 6) with foreign background was 10.3 per cent at the end of 2018. One in four of under school-age children are already of foreign background in Greater Helsinki.

Persons with foreign background by age and gender in 2018

Persons with foreign background by age and gender in 2018

The share of people with foreign origin is highest in Åland and in Greater Helsinki

The number of people with foreign origin was highest in the region of Åland, where their share of the population was 15.5 per cent and second highest in Uusimaa, 13.5 per cent. Of the persons with foreign origin living in Åland, 40 per cent were of Swedish origin. The share of the population with foreign origin was lowest in South Ostrobothnia, 2.3 per cent.

Of all people with foreign background, more than one-half lived in Uusimaa. Of second-generation immigrants with foreign background, 62 per cent lived in Uusimaa. Examined by municipality, the share of people with foreign background among Mainland Finland municipalities was highest in Vantaa, 19.3 per cent, Espoo 17.0 per cent and in Närpiö and Helsinki, 16.0 per cent in both.

Largest birth cohort in the population is those born in 1963

During 2018, those born in 1963 became the largest age group in our population. At the end of 2018, in all 75,114 such persons were living in Finland. The second largest birth cohort, those born in 1948, totalled 74,793 persons.

Altogether, there were 32 cohorts in the population with at least 70,000 persons. Of these, four cohorts were born in the 1940s, nine in the 1950s, nine in the 1960s, seven in the 1980s and three in the 1990s.


Source: Population Structure 2018, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Markus Rapo 029 551 3238, info@stat.fi

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma

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Updated 19.06.2019

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Population structure [e-publication].
ISSN=1797-5395. annual review 2018. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 15.9.2019].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/vaerak/2018/02/vaerak_2018_02_2019-06-19_tie_001_en.html