The language distribution of the inhabitants in a municipality is defined by means of the classification of language distribution. It is used in Statistics Finland’s AreaOnline web service, for example.
The language distribution divides municipalities into monolingual Finnish-speaking or Swedish-speaking municipalities and into bilingual municipalities, where the language of the majority can be either Finnish or Swedish. Thus, there are four categories in total.
The Government determines for ten years at a time whether municipalities are Finnish-speaking, Swedish-speaking or bilingual. The latest decision concerns the years 2013 to 2022.
However, the Government can change a monolingual municipality into a bilingual municipality during the ten-year period at the proposal of the municipal council. The change became possible on 15 December 2014 as the Language Act was amended.
No changes as of 1 January 2020
No changes as of 1 January 2019
Changes on 1 January 2016: Närpiö (545) changed from a monolingual Swedish-speaking municipality (2) into a bilingual municipality, where the language of the majority is Swedish (3).
Changes on 1 January 2015: Korsnäs (280) and Luoto (440) changed from monolingual Swedish-speaking municipalities (2) into bilingual municipalities so that the language of the majority of inhabitants is Swedish (3).
Changes on 1 January 2003: Houtskari (101) and Maksamaa (479) changed from monolingual Swedish-speaking municipalities (2) into bilingual municipalities so that the language of the majority of inhabitants is Swedish. The language majority of the bilingual municipality of Sipoo (753) changed from Swedish speaking into Finnish speaking. Lohja (444) will remain a bilingual municipality with a Finnish-speaking majority for the following ten-year period. (Government’s separate decision of 3 December 2002).
The classification of language distribution is a classification compiled for national needs.