This article is about the demographic features of the population of Finland, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.
Finland numbers some 5.5 million people and has an average population density of 17 inhabitants per square kilometre. There has not been any remarkable growth in the number of population since the inception of modern Finland. This makes it the third most sparsely populated country in Europe, after Iceland and Norway. Population distribution is very uneven: the population is concentrated on the small southwestern coastal plain. About 85% live in towns and cities, with one million living in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area alone. In Arctic Lapland, on the other hand, there are only 2 people to every square kilometre.
Finland is an relatively ethnically homogeneous country. The dominant ethnicity is the Finnish people but there are also notable historic minorities of Swedes, Sami and Roma people. As a result of recent immigration there are now also considerable groups of ethnic Russians, Estonians and Somalis in the country. The official languages are Finnish and Swedish, the latter being the native language of about five per cent of the Finnish population. From the 13th to the early 19th century Finland was a part of Sweden.
With 73 percent of Finns in its congregation, the Lutheran Church is the largest religious group in the country.
|Population size prior to 1812 may be affected by changes on administrative divisions.|
The earliest inhabitants of most of the land area that makes up today's Finland and Scandinavia were in all likehood hunter-gatherers whose closest successors in modern terms would probably be the Sami people (formerly known as the Lapps). There are 4,500 of them living in Finland today and they are recognised as a minority and speak three distinct languages: Northern Sami, Inari Sami and Skolt Sami. They have been living north of the Arctic Circle for more than 7,000 years now, but today are a 5% minority in their native Lapland Province. During the late 19th and 20th century there was significant emigration, particularly from rural areas to Sweden and North America, while most immigrants into Finland itself come from other European countries.
The geographical center of population (Weber point) of the Finnish population is currently located in Hauho, in the village of Sappee, now part of the town of Hämeenlinna. The coordinates of this point are 61' 17" N, 25' 07" E.
The profound demographic and economic changes that occurred in Finland after World War II affected the Finnish family. Families became smaller, dropping from an average of 3.6 persons in 1950 to an average of 2.7 by 1975. Family composition did not change much in that quarter of a century, however, and in 1975 the percentage of families that consisted of a man and a woman was 24.4; of a couple and children, 61.9; of a woman with offspring, 11.8; of a man and offspring, 1.9. These percentages are not markedly different from those of 1950. Change was seen in the number of children per family, which fell from an average of 2.24 in 1950 to an average of 1.7 in the mid-1980s, and large families were rare. Only 2 percent of families had four or more children, while 51 percent had one child; 38 percent, two children; and 9 percent, three children. The number of Finns under the age of 18 dropped from 1.5 million in 1960 to 1.2 million in 1980.
|Total Fertility Rate in Finland||5.42||5.51||5.82||5.91||5.71||5.17||5.74||5.42||5.79||5.39||5.6||5.46||4.86||4.51||4.88|
|Total Fertility Rate in Finland||4.66||5.43||5.71||5.41||5.18||5.05||5.2||5.08||5.09||4.92|
|Total Fertility Rate in Finland||5.07||5.23||4.78||5.24||5.21||4.84||4.97||4.16||3.69||5.1|
|Total Fertility Rate in Finland||4.66||4.95||4.6||4.72||4.84||4.82||4.84||4.78||4.51||4.55|
|Total Fertility Rate in Finland||5.34||4.59||5.21||4.84||4.83||4.89||4.77||5.12||4.98||4.85|
|Total Fertility Rate in Finland||4.58||4.47||3.96||4.75||4.57||4.17||4.17||4.32||4.47||4.59|
|Total Fertility Rate in Finland||4.56||4.96||4.77||4.64||4.76||4.39||4.46||4.84||4.92||4.78|
|Total Fertility Rate in Finland||5.17||4.79||4.8||5.02||4.82||4.86||4.48||4.87||4.74||4.84|
|Total Fertility Rate in Finland||5.2||5.03||4.85||5.28||4.79||4.46||4.47||3.4||4.52||4.86|
|Total Fertility Rate in Finland||4.95||4.87||4.97||5.12||4.95||4.97||5.19||4.81||5.14||5.01|
|Total Fertility Rate in Finland||4.79||4.99||4.96||5.04||4.79||4.98||5.17||5.07||4.89||4.83|
|Total Fertility Rate in Finland||5.04||4.65||4.43||4.59||4.87||4.8||4.77||5.07||4.96|
|Average population (x 1000)||Live births||Deaths||Natural change||Crude birth rate (per 1000)||Crude death rate (per 1000)||Natural change (per 1000)||Total fertility rate[fn 1]|
|1900||2 646||86 339||57 915||28 424||32.6||21.9||10.7||4.83|
|1901||2 667||88 637||56 225||32 412||33.2||21.1||12.2||4.92|
|1902||2 686||87 082||50 999||36 083||32.4||19.0||13.4||4.79|
|1903||2 706||85 120||49 992||35 128||31.5||18.5||13.0||4.62|
|1904||2 735||90 253||50 227||40 026||33.0||18.4||14.7||4.85|
|1905||2 762||87 841||52 773||35 068||31.8||19.1||12.7||4.67|
|1906||2 788||91 401||50 857||40 544||32.8||18.2||14.5||4.81|
|1907||2 821||92 457||53 028||39 429||32.8||18.8||14.0||4.76|
|1908||2 861||92 146||55 305||36 841||32.2||19.3||12.9||4.65|
|1909||2 899||95 005||50 577||44 428||32.8||17.4||15.3||4.72|
|1910||2 929||92 984||51 007||41 977||31.7||17.4||14.3||4.60|
|1911||2 962||91 238||51 648||39 590||30.8||17.4||13.4||4.46|
|1912||2 998||92 275||51 645||40 630||30.8||17.2||13.5||4.45|
|1913||3 026||87 250||51 876||35 374||28.8||17.1||11.7||4.15|
|1914||3 053||87 577||50 690||36 887||28.7||16.6||12.1||4.13|
|1915||3 083||83 306||52 205||31 101||27.0||16.9||10.1||3.89|
|1916||3 105||79 653||54 577||25 076||25.7||17.6||8.1||3.69|
|1917||3 124||81 046||58 863||22 183||25.9||18.8||7.1||3.71|
|1918||3 125||79 494||95 102||-15 608||25.4||30.4||-5.0||3.60|
|1919||3 117||63 896||62 932||964||20.5||20.2||0.3||2.87|
|1920||3 133||84 714||53 304||31 410||27.0||17.0||10.0||3.76|
|1921||3 170||82 165||47 361||34 804||25.9||14.9||11.0||3.58|
|1922||3 211||80 140||49 180||30 960||25.0||15.3||9.6||3.43|
|1923||3 243||81 961||47 556||34 405||25.3||14.7||10.6||3.44|
|1924||3 272||78 057||53 442||24 615||23.9||16.3||7.5||3.22|
|1925||3 304||78 260||47 493||30 767||23.7||14.4||9.3||3.17|
|1926||3 339||76 875||47 526||29 349||23.0||14.2||8.8||3.02|
|1927||3 368||75 611||51 727||23 884||22.5||15.4||7.1||2.92|
|1928||3 396||77 523||48 713||28 810||22.8||14.3||8.5||2.92|
|1929||3 424||76 011||54 489||21 522||22.2||15.9||6.3||2.83|
|1930||3 449||75 236||48 240||26 996||21.8||14.0||7.8||2.75|
|1931||3 476||71 866||48 968||22 898||20.7||14.1||6.6||2.59|
|1932||3 503||69 352||46 700||22 652||19.8||13.3||6.5||2.46|
|1933||3 526||65 047||47 960||17 087||18.4||13.6||4.8||2.27|
|1934||3 549||67 713||46 318||21 395||19.1||13.1||6.0||2.33|
|1935||3 576||69 942||45 370||24 572||19.6||12.7||6.9||2.37|
|1936||3 601||68 895||49 124||19 771||19.1||13.6||5.5||2.31|
|1937||3 626||72 319||46 466||25 853||19.9||12.8||7.1||2.52|
|1938||3 656||76 695||46 930||29 765||21.0||12.8||8.1||2.52|
|1939||3 686||78 164||52 614||25 550||21.2||14.3||6.9||2.56|
|1940||3 698||65 849||71 846||-5 997||17.8||19.4||-1.6||2.15|
|1941||3 702||89 565||73 334||16 231||24.2||19.8||4.4||2.90|
|1942||3 708||61 672||56 141||5 531||16.6||15.1||1.5||2.00|
|1943||3 721||76 112||49 634||26 478||20.5||13.3||7.1||2.46|
|1944||3 735||79 446||70 570||8 876||21.3||18.9||2.4||2.56|
|1945||3 758||95 758||49 046||46 712||25.5||13.1||12.4||3.07|
|1946||3 806||106 075||44 748||61 327||27.9||11.8||16.1||3.41|
|1947||3 859||108 168||46 053||62 115||28.0||11.9||16.1||3.47|
|1948||3 912||107 759||43 668||64 091||27.5||11.2||16.4||3.47|
|1949||3 963||103 515||44 501||59 014||26.1||11.2||14.9||3.33|
|1950||4 009||98 065||40 681||57 384||24.5||10.1||14.3||3.16|
|1951||4 047||93 063||40 386||52 677||23.0||10.0||13.0||3.01|
|1952||4 090||94 314||39 024||55 290||23.1||9.5||13.5||3.06|
|1953||4 139||90 866||39 925||50 941||22.0||9.6||12.3||2.96|
|1954||4 187||89 845||37 988||51 857||21.5||9.1||12.4||2.93|
|1955||4 235||89 740||39 573||50 167||21.2||9.3||11.8||2.93|
|1956||4 282||88 896||38 713||50 183||20.8||9.0||11.7||2.91|
|1957||4 324||86 985||40 741||46 244||20.1||9.4||10.7||2.86|
|1958||4 360||81 148||38 833||42 315||18.6||8.9||9.7||2.68|
|1959||4 395||83 253||38 827||44 426||18.9||8.8||10.1||2.75|
|1960||4 430||82 129||39 797||42 332||18.5||9.0||9.6||2.71|
|1961||4 461||81 996||40 616||41 380||18.4||9.1||9.3||2.65|
|1962||4 491||81 454||42 889||38 565||18.1||9.5||8.6||2.66|
|1963||4 523||82 251||42 010||40 241||18.2||9.3||8.9||2.66|
|1964||4 549||80 428||42 512||37 916||17.7||9.3||8.3||2.58|
|1965||4 564||77 885||44 473||33 412||17.1||9.7||7.3||2.46|
|1966||4 581||77 697||43 548||34 149||17.0||9.5||7.5||2.41|
|1967||4 606||77 289||43 790||33 499||16.8||9.5||7.3||2.32|
|1968||4 626||73 654||45 013||28 641||15.9||9.7||6.2||2.15|
|1969||4 624||67 450||45 966||21 484||14.6||9.9||4.6||1.94|
|1970||4 606||64 559||44 119||20 440||14.0||9.6||4.4||1.83|
|1971||4 612||61 067||45 876||15 191||13.2||9.9||3.3||1.70|
|1972||4 640||58 864||43 958||14 906||12.7||9.5||3.2||1.59|
|1973||4 666||56 787||43 410||13 377||12.2||9.3||2.9||1.50|
|1974||4 691||62 472||44 676||17 796||13.3||9.5||3.8||1.62|
|1975||4 711||65 719||43 828||21 891||14.0||9.3||4.6||1.69|
|1976||4 726||66 846||44 786||22 060||14.1||9.5||4.7||1.72|
|1977||4 739||65 659||44 065||21 594||13.9||9.3||4.6||1.69|
|1978||4 753||63 983||43 692||20 291||13.5||9.2||4.3||1.65|
|1979||4 765||63 428||43 738||19 690||13.3||9.2||4.1||1.64|
|1980||4 780||63 064||44 398||18 666||13.2||9.3||3.9||1.63|
|1981||4 800||63 469||44 404||19 065||13.2||9.3||4.0||1.65|
|1982||4 827||66 106||43 408||22 698||13.7||9.0||4.7||1.72|
|1983||4 856||66 892||45 388||21 504||13.8||9.3||4.4||1.74|
|1984||4 882||65 076||45 098||19 978||13.3||9.2||4.1||1.70|
|1985||4 902||62 796||48 198||14 598||12.8||9.8||3.0||1.64|
|1986||4 918||60 632||47 135||13 497||12.3||9.6||2.7||1.60|
|1987||4 932||59 827||47 949||11 878||12.1||9.7||2.4||1.59|
|1988||4 946||63 316||49 063||14 253||12.8||9.9||2.9||1.70|
|1989||4 964||63 348||49 110||14 238||12.8||9.9||2.9||1.71|
|1990||4 986||65 549||50 028||15 521||13.1||10.0||3.1||1.79|
|1991||5 014||65 395||49 294||16 101||13.1||9.8||3.3||1.80|
|1992||5 042||66 731||49 844||16 887||13.3||9.8||3.4||1.85|
|1993||5 066||64 826||50 988||13 838||12.8||10.1||2.7||1.81|
|1994||5 088||65 231||48 000||17 231||12.8||9.4||3.4||1.85|
|1995||5 108||63 067||49 280||13 787||12.3||9.6||2.7||1.81|
|1996||5 125||60 723||49 167||11 556||11.8||9.6||2.3||1.76|
|1997||5 140||59 329||49 108||10 221||11.5||9.6||2.0||1.75|
|1998||5 153||57 108||49 262||7 846||11.1||9.6||1.5||1.71|
|1999||5 165||57 574||49 345||8 229||11.1||9.6||1.6||1.73|
|2000||5 176||56 742||49 339||7 403||11.0||9.5||1.4||1.73|
|2001||5 188||56 189||48 550||7 639||10.8||9.4||1.5||1.73|
|2002||5 201||55 555||49 418||6 137||10.7||9.5||1.2||1.72|
|2003||5 213||56 630||48 996||7 634||10.9||9.4||1.5||1.76|
|2004||5 228||57 758||47 600||10 158||11.0||9.1||1.9||1.80|
|2005||5 246||57 745||47 928||9 817||11.0||9.1||1.9||1.80|
|2006||5 266||58 840||48 065||10 775||11.2||9.1||2.0||1.84|
|2007||5 289||58 729||49 077||9 652||11.1||9.3||1.8||1.83|
|2008||5 313||59 530||49 094||10 436||11.2||9.2||2.0||1.85|
|2009||5 339||60 430||49 883||10 547||11.3||9.3||2.0||1.86|
|2010||5 375||60 980||50 887||10 193||11.4||9.5||1.9||1.87|
|2011||5 403||59 961||50 585||9 376||11.1||9.4||1.7||1.83|
|2012||5 426||59 493||51 707||7 786||10.9||9.5||1.4||1.80|
|2013||5 450||58 134||51 472||6 662||10.7||9.4||1.3||1.75|
|2014||5 472||57 232||52 186||5 046||10.5||9.5||1.0||1.71|
|2015||5 486||55 472||52 492||2 980||10.1||9.5||0.6||1.65|
|2016||5 503||52 814||53 923||-1 109||9.6||9.7||-0.1||1.57|
|2017||5 509||50 321||53 722||-3 401||9.1||9.7||-0.6||1.49|
|2018||47 307||54 295||-6 988||1.40|
|Region||Fertility rate (2016)||Fertility rate (2017)|
- Number of births from January–November 2017 = 46,498
- Number of births from January–November 2018 = 43,786
- Number of deaths from January–November 2017 = 48,980
- Number of deaths from January–November 2018 = 49,475
- Natural increase from January–November 2017 = -2,482
- Natural increase from January–November 2018 = -5,689
|Life expectancy in Finland||37.3||34.9||39.4||33.8||37.1||31.8||35.8||38.4||34.7||40.5||35.1||32.1||41.6||39.2||44.9||39.6|
|Life expectancy in Finland||37.6||40.4||42.7||42.8||41.3||40.8||45.5||45.1||44.9||44.6|
|Life expectancy in Finland||42.5||39.7||43.3||45.2||47.6||46.5||48.1||48.0||44.3||41.7|
|Life expectancy in Finland||42.8||46.2||46.6||47.2||46.0||47.0||46.7||46.1||48.6||48.5|
|Life expectancy in Finland||48.7||49.1||49.0||49.7||49.5||48.0||46.5||32.8||43.1||47.5|
|Life expectancy in Finland||52.4||51.9||52.5||50.2||53.4||53.8||51.8||53.7||51.3||54.5|
|Life expectancy in Finland||54.9||55.8||55.4||56.0||54.4||56.2||57.1||57.2||54.6||46.6|
|Life expectancy in Finland||46.5||54.0||56.3||48.0||57.2||60.2||60.5||62.0||61.9||64.2|
|Period||Life expectancy in
|Period||Life expectancy in|
Source: UN World Population Prospects
Attitudes toward marriage have changed substantially since World War II. Most obvious was the declining marriage rate, which dropped from 8.5 marriages per 1,000 Finns in 1950 to 5.8, in 1984, a decline great enough to mean a drop also in absolute numbers. In 1950 there were 34,000 marriages, while in 1984 only 28,500 were registered, despite a growth in population of 800,000. An explanation for the decline was that there was an unprecedented number of unmarried couples. Since the late 1960s, the practice of cohabitation had become increasingly common, so much so that by the late 1970s most marriages in urban areas grew out of what Finns called "open unions." In the 1980s, it was estimated that about 8 percent of couples who lived together, approximately 200,000 people, did so without benefit of marriage. Partners of such unions usually married because of the arrival of offspring or the acquisition of property. A result of the frequency of cohabitation was that marriages were postponed, and the average age for marriage, which had been falling, began to rise in the 1970s. By 1982 the average marriage age was 24.8 years for women and 26.8 years for men, several years higher for both sexes than had been true a decade earlier.
The overwhelming majority of Finns did marry, however. About 90 percent of the women had been married by the age of forty, and spinsterhood was rare. A shortage of women in rural regions, however, meant that some farmers were forced into bachelorhood.
While the number of marriages was declining, divorce became more common, increasing 250 percent between 1950 and 1980. In 1952 there were 3,500 divorces. The 1960s saw a steady increase in this rate, which averaged about 5,000 divorces a year. A high of 10,191 was reached in 1979; afterwards the divorce rate stabilized at about 9,500 per year during the first half of the 1980s.
A number of factors caused the increased frequency of divorce. One was that an increasingly secularized society viewed marriage, more often than before, as an arrangement that could be ended if it did not satisfy its partners. Another reason was that a gradually expanding welfare system could manage an ever-greater portion of the family's traditional tasks, and it made couples less dependent on the institution of marriage. Government provisions for parental leave, child allowances, child care programs, and much improved health and pension plans meant that the family was no longer essential for the care of children and aged relatives. A further cause for weakened family and marital ties was seen in the unsettling effects of the Great Migration and in the economic transformation Finland experienced during the 1960s and the 1970s. The rupture of established social patterns brought uncertainty and an increased potential for conflict into personal relationships.
Recorded Finland population figures date back to 1750 and have been faithfully updated ever since. They would clearly appear to have been rounded either up or down too and in 1750, it is shown that there were 421,000 people living here.
Ten years later, those numbers had climbed to 490,000 – a rise of just over sixteen per cent and similar increases through the rest of the 1700’s took the population of Finland to 837,000 at the start of the 19th century.
The population of Finland climbed above one million for the first time by 1820 and as the 20th century began, figures within the country had increased to 2,655,900. This pattern of steady increases has continued ever since to the point where the Finland population in 2012 is rapidly approaching 5.5 million.
It is reported that population growth slowed in Finland after World War Two with average family sizes falling from 3.6 in 1950 to 2.7 by 1975. Therefore, while there is still growth here, it is considerably slower than it has been in the past.
Finland is very ethnically homogeneous. Most of the population is ethnic Finnish. The earliest inhabitants of the area were hunter-gatherers, most closely related to the modern-day Sami people of Finland. There are about 4,500 Sami left in Finland who are officially recognized as a minority. The Sami people have been living north of the Arctic Circle for over 7,000 years and account for a 5% minority in the Lapland Province. Finland does not keep official statistics on ethnicity.
Just 3.5% of the population is made up of foreign citizens, which is one of the lowest rates in the European Union. Most foreign citizens are from Estonia, Russia, and Sweden. Children of foreigners born in Finland do not automatically receive Finnish citizenship unless they cannot get citizenship in another nation.
Demographic statistics according to the World Population Review.
Finn 93.4%, Swede 5.6%, Russian 0.5%, Estonian 0.3%, Romani 0.1%, Sami 0.1% (2006)
Finnish (official) 87.9%, Swedish (official) 5.2%, Russian 1.4%, other 5.5% (2017 est.)
Lutheran 70.9%, Finnish Orthodox 1.1%, other 1.7%, unspecified 26.3% (2017 est.)
No official statistics are kept on ethnicities. However, statistics of the Finnish population according to language, citizenship and country of birth are available. According to international census recommendations an ethnic group is defined by the perception of its members of historical and regional or national origin, and data or ethnic status should always be based on a person's own statement. Because the census in Finland is based on registries, Finland can not produce official statistics about ethnic groups.
Finnish and Swedish are defined as languages of the state. Swedish is an official municipal language in municipalities with significant Swedish-speaking populations. The three Sami languages (North Sami, Inari Sami, Skolt Sami) are official in certain municipalities of Lapland.
Population of mainland Finland (excluding Åland) according to language, 1990-2015:
The government only considers the "working language", Finnish or Swedish, of the person, and "bilinguality" has no official standing.
The largest minority group in Finland is the Swedish- speaking Finns, who in 2015 numbered about 290,000 or 5.3% of the total population. Municipalities are classified as either unilingual or bilingual with a majority language. Majority of Swedish-speakers live in unilingual Swedish-speaking or bilingual municipalities. These municipalities are found in coastal areas, from Ostrobothnia to the southern coast, and in the archipelago of Åland.
The Sami are related to the Finns, both speak non-Indo-European languages belonging to the Uralic family of languages. Once present throughout the country, the Sami gradually moved northward under the pressure of the advancing Finns. As they were a nomadic people in a sparsely settled land, the Sami were always able to find new and open territory in which to follow their traditional activities of hunting, fishing, and slash-and-burn agriculture. By the 16th century, most Sami lived in the northern half of the country, and it was during this period that they converted to Christianity. By the 19th century, most of them lived in the parts of Lapland that were still their home in the 1980s. The last major shift in Sami settlement was the migration westward of 600 Skolt Sami from the Petsamo region after it was ceded to the Soviet Union in 1944. A reminder of their eastern origin was their Orthodox faith; the remaining 85 percent of Finland's Sami were Lutheran.
As of 1988, about 90 percent of Finland's 4,400 Sami lived in the municipalities of Enontekiö, Inari, and Utsjoki, and in the reindeer herding-area of Sodankylä. According to Finnish regulations, anyone who spoke one of the Sami languages, or who had a relative who was a Sami, was registered as a Sami in census records. Finnish Sami spoke three distinct Sami languages, but by the late 1980s perhaps only a minority actually had Sami as their first language. Sami children had the right to instruction in Sami, but there were few qualified instructors or textbooks available. One reason for the scarcity of written material in Sami is that the three languages spoken in Finland made agreement about a common orthography difficult. Perhaps these shortcomings explained why a 1979 study found the educational level of Sami to be considerably lower than that of other Finns.
Few Finnish Sami actually led the traditional nomadic life pictured in school geography texts and in travel brochures. Although many Sami living in rural regions of Lapland earned some of their livelihood from reindeer herding, it was estimated that Sami owned no more than one-third of Finland's 200,000 reindeer. Only 5 percent of Finnish Sami had the herds of 250 to 300 reindeer needed to live entirely from this kind of work. Most Sami worked at more routine activities, including farming, construction, and service industries such as tourism. Often a variety of jobs and sources of income supported Sami families, which were, on the average, twice the size of a typical Finnish family. Sami also were aided by old-age pensions and by government welfare, which provided a greater share of their income than it did for Finns as a whole.
There have been many efforts over the years by Finnish authorities to safeguard the Sami' culture and way of life and to ease their entry into modern society. Officials created bodies that dealt with the Sami minority, or formed committees that studied their situation. An early body was the Society for the Promotion of Lapp Culture, formed in 1932. In 1960 the government created the Advisory Commission on Lapp Affairs. The Sami themselves formed the Saami-liitto in 1945 and the Johti Sabmelazzat, a more aggressive organization, in 1968. In 1973 the government arranged for elections every four years to a twenty-member Sami Parliaments that was to advise authorities. On the international level, there was the Nordic Sami Council of 1956, and there has been a regularly occurring regional conference since then that represented—in addition to Finland's Sami—Norway's 20,000 Sami, Sweden's 10,000 Sami, and the 1,000 to 2,000 Sami who remained in the Kola Peninsula in Russia.
Sami languages have an official status in the municipalities of Enontekiö, Inari, and Utsjoki, and in the northern part of Sodankylä since 1992. In 2009, 55% of the 9 350 Sami in Finland lived outside of this area.
Russians in Finland had come from two major waves. About 5,000 originate from a population that immigrated in the 19th and early 20th centuries, when Finland was a grand duchy of Imperial Russia. Another consisted of those who immigrated after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. A significant catalyst was the right of return, based on President Koivisto's initiative that people of Ingrian ancestry would be allowed to immigrate to Finland.
Romani people, also called Kale and Roma, have been present in Finland since the second half of the 16th century. With their unusual dress, unique customs, and specialized trades for earning their livelihood, Roma have stood out, and their stay in the country has not been an easy one. They have suffered periodic harassment from the hands of both private citizens and public officials, and the last of the special laws directed against them was repealed only in 1883. Even in the second half of the 1980s, Finland's 5,000 to 6,000 Romani remained a distinct group, separated from the general population both by their own choice and by the fears and the prejudices many Finns felt toward them.
Finnish Roma, like Roma elsewhere, chose to live apart from the dominant societal groups. A Roma's loyalty was to his or her family and to Gypsies in general. Marriages with non-Roma were uncommon, and the Roma's own language, spoken as a first language only by a few in the 1980s, was used to keep outsiders away. An individual's place within Roma society was largely determined by age and by sex, old males having authority. A highly developed system of values and a code of conduct governed a Roma's behavior, and when Roma sanctions, violent or not, were imposed, for example via "blood feuds," they had far more meaning than any legal or social sanctions of Finnish society.
Unlike the Lapps, who lived concentrated in a single region, the Romani lived throughout Finland. While most Lapps wore ordinary clothing in their everyday life, Romani could be identified by their dress; the men generally wore high boots and the women almost always dressed in very full, long velvet skirts. Like most Lapps, however, Roma also had largely abandoned a nomadic way of life and had permanent residences. Romani men had for centuries worked as horse traders, but they had adapted themselves to postwar Finland by being active as horse breeders and as dealers in cars and scrap metal. Women continued their traditional trades of fortune telling and handicrafts.
Since the 1960s, Finnish authorities have undertaken measures to improve the Romani's standard of life. Generous state financial arrangements have improved their housing. Their low educational level (an estimated 20 percent of adult Romani could not read) was raised, in part, through more vocational training. A permanent Advisory Commission on Gypsy Affairs was set up in 1968, and in 1970 racial discrimination was outlawed through an addition to the penal code. The law punished blatant acts such as barring Romani from restaurants or shops or subjecting them to unusual surveillance by shopkeepers or the police.
There are about 1,300 Jews in Finland, 800 of whom live in Helsinki and most of the remainder live in Turku. During the period of Swedish rule, Jews had been forbidden to live in Finland. Once the country became part of the Russian Empire, however, Jewish veterans of the Tsarist army had the right to settle anywhere they wished within the empire. Although constrained by law to follow certain occupations, mainly those connected with the sale of clothes, the Jewish community in Finland was able to prosper, and by 1890 it numbered around 1,000. Finnish independence brought complete civil rights, and during the interwar period there were some 2,000 Jews in Finland, most of them living in urban areas in the south. During World War II, Finnish authorities refused to deliver Jews to the Third Reich, and the country's Jewish community survived the war virtually intact. By the 1980s, assimilation and emigration had significantly reduced the size of the community, and it was only with some difficulty that it maintained synagogues, schools, libraries, and other pertinent institutions.
The community of Finnish Tatars numbers only about 800. The Tatars first came to Finland from the Russian Volga region near Nizni Novgorod's Tatar villages in the mid-19th century and have remained there ever since, active in commerce. The Tatars in Finland fully integrated into the Finnish society at the same time they preserved their religion, mother tongue and ethnic culture.
Many Finnish natives have emigrated abroad, sometimes running away of war, eg. to Sweden, sometimes for economical reasons, eg. to US and Canada. Current numbers of emigration are not very well discussed in public, but lowering standard of living in Finland has forced many persons and families to look for living. Also political emigrants have been identified, relocating to Russia, US, London and even to Donbass, Ukraine.
Demographic movement in Finland did not end with the appearance of immigrants from Sweden in the Middle Ages. Finns who left to work in Swedish mines in the 16th century began a national tradition, which continued up through the 1970s, of settling in their neighboring country. During the period of tsarist rule, some 100,000 Finns went to Russia, mainly to the St. Petersburg area. Emigration on a large scale began in the second half of the 19th century when Finns, along with millions of other Europeans, set out for the United States and Canada. By 1980 Finland had lost an estimated 400,000 of its citizens to these two countries.
A great number of Finns emigrated to Sweden after World War II, drawn by that country's prosperity and proximity. Emigration began slowly, but, during the 1960s and the second half of the 1970s, tens of thousands left each year for their western neighbor. The peak emigration year was 1970, when 41,000 Finns settled in Sweden, which caused Finland's population actually to fall that year. Because many of the migrants later returned to Finland, definite figures cannot be calculated, but all told, an estimated 250,000 to 300,000 Finns became permanent residents of Sweden in the postwar period. The overall youthfulness of these emigrants meant that the quality of the work force available to Finnish employers was diminished and that the national birth rate slowed. At one point, every eighth Finnish child was born in Sweden. Finland's Swedish-speaking minority was hard hit by this westward migration; its numbers dropped from 350,000 to about 300,000 between 1950 and 1980. By the 1980s, a strong Finnish economy had brought an end to large-scale migration to Sweden. In fact, the overall population flow was reversed because each year several thousand more Finns returned from Sweden than left for it.
However significant the long-term effects of external migration on Finnish society may have been, migration within the country had a greater impact—especially the migration which took place between the end of World War II and the mid-1970s, when half the population moved from one part of the country to another. Before World War II, internal migration had first been a centuries-long process of forming settlements ever farther to the north. Later, however, beginning in the second half of the 19th century with the coming of Finland's tardy industrialization, there was a slow movement from rural regions toward areas in the south where employment could be found.
Postwar internal migration began with the resettlement within Finland of virtually all the inhabitants of the parts of Karelia ceded to the Soviet Union. Somewhat more than 400,000 persons, more than 10 percent of the nation's population, found new homes elsewhere in Finland, often in the less settled regions of the east and the north. In these regions, new land, which they cleared for farming, was provided for the refugees; in more populated areas, property was requisitioned. The sudden influx of these settlers was successfully dealt with in just a few years. One of the effects of rural resettlement was an increase in the number of farms during the postwar years, a unique occurrence for industrialized nations of this period.
It was, however, the postwar economic transformation that caused an even larger movement of people within Finland, a movement known to Finns as the Great Migration. It was a massive population shift from rural areas, especially those of eastern and northeastern Finland, to the urban, industrialized south. People left rural regions because the mechanization of agriculture and the forestry industry had eliminated jobs. The displaced work force went to areas where employment in the expanding industrial and service sectors was available. This movement began in the 1950s, but it was most intense during the 1960s and the first half of the 1970s, assuming proportions that in relative terms were unprecedented for a country outside the Third World. The Great Migration left behind rural areas of abandoned farms with reduced and aging populations, and it allowed the creation of a densely populated postindustrial society in the country's south.
The extent of the demographic shift to the south can be shown by the following figures. Between 1951 and 1975, the population registered an increase of 655,000. During this period, the small province of Uusimaa increased its population by 412,000, growing from 670,000 to 1,092,000; three-quarters of this growth was caused by settlers from other provinces. The population increase experienced by four other southern provinces, the Aland Islands, Turku ja Pori, Hame, and Kymi, taken together with that of Uusimaa amounted to 97 percent of the country's total population increase for these years. The population increase of the central and the northern provinces accounted for the remaining 3 percent. Provinces that experienced an actual population loss during these years were in the east and the northeast-Pohjois-Karjala, Mikkeli, and Kuopio.
One way of visualizing the shift to the south would be to draw a line, bowing slightly to the north, between the port cities of Kotka on the Gulf of Finland and Kaskinen on the Gulf of Bothnia. In 1975 the territory to the south of this line would have contained half of Finland's population. Ten years earlier, such a line, drawn farther to the north to mark off perhaps 20 percent more area, would have encompassed half the population. One hundred years earlier, half the population would have been distributed throughout more than twice as much territory. Another indication of the extent to which Finns were located in the south was that by 1980, approximately 90 percent of them lived in the southernmost 41 percent of Finland.
In 2017, there were 372,802 foreign-born residents in Finland, corresponding to 6.8% of the total population. Of these, 248,426 (4.5%) were born outside the EU and 124,376 (2.3%) were born in another EU Member State. The largest groups were:
Evangelical Lutheran church is the largest church in Finland, 73% of population were its members in the end of year 2015. Christian Orthodox are the second largest registered group, 1.1% were members of the Finnish Orthodox Church. The number of Lutherans has decreased gradually from 98% in year 1900, 95% in year 1950 and 85% in year 2000. In end of 2015, 1.6% of population was in other religious groups, and 24.3% in census register or of unknown religious status.
Estimated number of Muslims in 2010 was 40,000.
Defined as proportion of people in age 15 and over can read and write, the literacy of total population is 100% (2000 est.).
In a study published in March 2016, Finland ranked the world’s most literate nation among 61 countries, where enough data was available. The research considered among other things literacy achievement tests, numbers of libraries and newspapers, years of schooling and computer availability.
2011 EU census, or EU population and housing census 2011 was an EU-wide census in 2011 in all EU member states.Albanians
The Albanians (; Albanian: Shqiptarët, pronounced [ʃcipˈta:ɾət]) are an ethnic group native to the Balkan Peninsula and are identified by a common Albanian ancestry, culture, history and language. They primarily live in Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia as well as in Croatia, Greece and Italy. They also constitute a diaspora with several communities established in the Americas, Europe and Oceania.
The history of the Albanian diaspora is centuries old and has its roots in migration from the Middle Ages, initially established in Southern Europe and subsequently on across other parts of the world. Between the 13th and 18th centuries, sizeable numbers of Albanians migrated to escape either various social, economic or political difficulties.One population who became the Arvanites settled Southern Greece between the 13th and 16th centuries assimilating into and now self-identifying as Greeks. Another population who emerged as the Arbëreshës settled Sicily and Southern Italy constituting the oldest continuous Albanian diaspora. Smaller populations such as the Arbanasis whose migration dates back to the 18th century are located in Southern Croatia and scattered across Southern Ukraine.Albanians are primarily composed of two sub-ethnic groups known as the Ghegs and Tosks. In the 13th century, the Ghegs converted to Roman Catholicism from Eastern Orthodoxy as a means to resist the Slavic Serbs. In the 15th century, Skanderbeg led the medieval Albanian resistance to the Ottoman conquest. During the 17th and 18th centuries, Albanians in large numbers converted to Islam, in part due to the privileged legal and social position of Muslims in the empire and coercion by Ottoman authorities in times of war.Albanians attained important political and military positions within the Ottoman Empire and culturally contributed to the wider Muslim world. Following the Albanian National Awakening, during the Balkan Wars, in 1912, Albanians were partitioned between the newly-formed Independent Albania and Serbia, Greece and Montenegro. From 1945 to 1992, Albania was ruled by a communist government. Albanians in neighbouring Yugoslavia underwent periods of discrimination that concluded with the breakup of that state in the early 1990s and eventually the independence of Kosovo in 2008.Albanians in Scandinavia
The Albanians in Scandinavia (Albanian: Shqiptarët në Skandinavi) are people of Albanian ancestry and heritage in such Scandinavian countries as Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. They trace their ancestry to the territories with a large Albanian population in the Balkans among others to Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia and Montenegro. They are adherents of different religions and are predominantly Christians, Jews, Muslims as well as Irreligious.Arabs in Finland
Arabs in Finland are residents and citizens of Finland who speak the Arabic language.Largest metropolitan areas in the Nordic countries
The largest metropolitan areas in the Nordic countries are difficult to rank in size because the definition patterns are different from country to country.Latin American migration to Finland
Latin American migration to Finland means immigrants from Latin America who reside in Finland.New Finn
New Finns (Finnish: uussuomalainen) are those people in Finland’s population who have a non-ethnic Finnish background and who reside permanently in the country. A new Finn may have various backgrounds; including immigrant, immigrant-origin, refugee and/or having come to Finland for family reasons. The term is especially used to emphasize those that have a Finnish citizenship and carry Finnish passports, to those foreigners who live permanently in Finland and intend to be naturalized in Finland at some point in the future. Finland has experienced large-scale, continuous non-European immigration only within the past couple of decades. The term uussuomalainen is beginning to come into usage to commonly refer to these new, naturalized Finns, who are beginning to change and affect the national landscape of the country.The term and its usage over the more conservative "immigrant" has received mixed reactions and stirred conversation on whether new terms like this are in fact necessary. The term is currently not in mainstream use and is mostly used in political context. New Finns are affecting the national psyche of Finland because they are becoming a new, different cultural force of their own who are reshaping the national consciousness as to who a Finn can and cannot be.New Finns in general:
reside permanently in Finland
adopt the Finnish language as their own, and tend not to wish to be a part of Finland's Swedish-speaking minority. The exception are those New Finns who live in predominantly Swedish-speaking island or coastal areas such as the Åland Islands or majority Swedish-speaking towns like Närpes.
have attained Finnish citizenship, or wish to eventually receive Finnish citizenship
move to Finland from another country or are born in Finland to parents or a parent who is not Finnish
do not consider themselves to be ethnically Finnish but just Finnish
assign their cultural identity to their geographic location. Finland is their home, and since geographically they are in Finland, they are Finns.
have a background as an immigrant, immigrant background, refugee or someone who moved to Finland for family reasonsThe term uussuomalainen also describes the descendants of immigrants better than the term "immigrant", because these people have in many cases been born and raised in Finland to parents from other countries.Outline of Finland
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Finland.
Finland – sovereign Nordic country located in Northern Europe. Finland has borders with Sweden to the west, Russia to the east, and Norway to the north, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland. The capital city is Helsinki.
Around 5.4 million people reside in Finland, with the majority concentrated in the southern part of country. It is the eighth largest country in Europe in terms of area and the most sparsely populated country in the European Union. The native language for most of the population is Finnish, a member of the Uralic language family most closely related to Estonian and one of the four EU languages not of Indo-European origin. The second official language, Swedish, is spoken by a 5.5 percent minority. Finland is a democratic, parliamentary republic with a central government and local governments in 415 municipalities. Greater Helsinki (including Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa and Kauniainen) totals a million residents and a third of the GDP. Other major cities include Tampere, Turku, and Oulu.
Finland was historically part of Sweden and from 1809 an autonomous Grand Duchy within the Russian Empire. Finland's declaration of independence in 1917 from Russia was followed by a civil war, wars against the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, and a period of official neutrality during the Cold War. Finland joined the United Nations in 1955 and the European Union in 1995 and participates in the Eurozone. Finland has been ranked the second most stable country in the world, in a survey based on social, economic, political, and military indicators.Finland has seen excellent results in many international comparisons of national performance such as the share of high-technology manufacturing, the rate of gross domestic product growth, and the protection of civil liberties.Statistics Finland
Statistics Finland (Finnish: Tilastokeskus, Swedish: Statistikcentralen) is the national statistical institution in Finland, established in 1865 to serve as an information service and to provide statistics and expertise in the statistical sciences. The institution employs more than 800 experts from varying fields.Statistics Finland develops and maintains the Findicator statistical service jointly with the Finnish Prime Minister's Office. The institution is led by Director General Marjo Bruun.Women in Finland
Women in Finland enjoy a "high degree of equality" and "traditional courtesy" among men. In 1906, the women of Finland became the first women in Europe to be granted the right to vote. There are many women in Finland who hold prominent positions in Finnish society, in the academics, in the field of business, and in the government of Finland. An example of powerful women in Finnish politics is Tarja Halonen, who became the first female president of the country (she was Foreign Minister of Finland before becoming president). In religion, where most of the Finnish people are members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland (the other major Christian denomination in Finland is the Orthodox Church), women can be ordained as priests. In terms of finance, Finnish women have been described as "usually independent financially". Married women, by custom, introduces themselves by mentioning their forename first, then their maiden name, and then the surname of their husbands. The Telegraph has written: Finnish women are much more outgoing and approachable than the men and often command three or four languages. Their position in society and business is well-respected and superior to that of women in most other cultures.