African immigration to Finland
|51,645 (0.94% of the total Finnish population in 2018)|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Mostly in Uusimaa (Helsinki (Kallahti), Espoo, Vantaa), Turku, Vaasa|
|Finnish, Afroasiatic languages, Niger–Congo languages, Nilo-Saharan languages|
The first known African who received a Finnish citizenship was Rosa Lemberg from Ovamboland.
Finns reacted to the first Africans in Finland with curiosity and amazement.
During the 19th century, there were some Africans from the United States, working as servants for wealthy Russians. During 1900s–1970s, the few Africans in Finland were either students (mostly from Nigeria and Ethiopia), political exiles from South Africa or people that married to Finns.
Nowadays most Africans come from Africa, but many have also come from the United States, Latin America and other European countries. Especially American and British Africans have moved to Finland, mostly through marriage. 
|Source: Statistics Finland|
The total number of people in Finland with an African background is 51,645, which is 0.94% of the Finnish population. 44,122 of them are from Sub-Saharan Africa. 29,492 (57.1%) of them are men, while 22,153 (42.9%) are women.
Countries of origin
|Country||Population (1990)||Population (2018)|
The region with the most Africans is Uusimaa with over 35,500, or 2.1% of the population.
There are many African prostitutes in Helsinki, especially Nigerians. These prostitutes divide the Helsinki city centre into three areas for different African prostitutes. Working in the different area is taken seriously and has even lead to violence.
Racism started to grow after the first Somali refugees arrived in Finland in the 1990s. Finnish skinheads perpetrated attacks against Africans, and especially Joensuu grew to be an infamous center of racism. In Nastola the police had to protect the local immigration detention from the violence of the locals, as they committed shootings, group assault and played racist music. According to a study by Fundamental Rights Agency published in 2018, 63% of Africans in Finland had experienced racist harassment, which had appeared as offensive gestures, comments, threats or violence. This was the highest percentage of any EU member state, much higher than for example in Malta which was only 20%. 14% stated they experienced violence due to their skin colour, which again was the highest in the EU, much higher than in Portugal where only 2% experienced violence.
According to an estimate in 2009, there are 20,000 Afro-Finns. They compose a much higher minority than the Sami or Romani, and if considered a one group, they are Finland's second largest minority group, only behind Swedish-speaking Finns. The identity of Africans Finns varies; some consider themselves Finns, while others have their own separate identity.
Notable Finnish people of African descent
- James Nikander, rap artist
- Zahra Abdulla, politician
- Noah Kin, rap artist and actor
- Rosa Lemberg, teacher, actor and singer
- Abdirahim Hussein Mohamed, politician
- Jani Toivola, actor, dancer and a host
- Wilson Kirwa, athlete