Demographics of Finland
Finland has a population of 5.53 million people and an average population density of 19 inhabitants per square kilometre. 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 1.5 million living in the Greater Helsinki area. In Arctic Lapland, on the other hand, there are only 2 people to every square kilometre.
Finland is a relatively ethnically homogeneous country. The dominant ethnicity is Finnish but there are also notable historic minorities of Finland-Swedes, Sami and Roma people. As a result of recent immigration there are now also large groups of ethnic Russians, Iraqis/Kurds, Estonians and Somalis in the country. 7.9% of the population is born abroad and 5.2% are foreign citizens. The official languages are Finnish and Swedish, the latter being the native language of about 5.2 per cent of the Finnish population. From the 13th to the early 19th century Finland was a part of Sweden.
With 68.7 percent of Finns in its congregation, the Lutheran Church is the largest religious group in the country. 2 million people with roots in Finland live abroad. In a 2017 survey, 10% of residents of Finland said that they would prefer to live abroad.
|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.
Centre of population
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 from 1776 to 1899
|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|
Vital statistics from 1900
|Average population||Live births||Deaths||Natural change||Crude birth rate (per 1000)||Crude death rate (per 1000)||Natural change (per 1000)||Total fertility rate[fn 1]|
Current vital statistics
- Number of births from January–August 2019 = 30,485
- Number of births from January–August 2020 = 31,267
- Number of deaths from January–August 2019 = 35,757
- Number of deaths from January–August 2020 = 36,344
- Natural increase from January–August 2019 = -5,272
- Natural increase from January–August 2020 = -5,077
Total fertility rate
The rate of fertility was greater than in neighbour countries all over 20th century. After 2010, it has been dropping dramatically, despite other Nordic countries don't have such trend until now. It's a modern phenomenon that Sweden and Finland are both social oriented countries, having almost the same income, but only Finland is faced with a natural population decline (excluding immigration).
|Region||Fertility rate (2016)||Fertility rate (2017)|
Life expectancy from 1755 to 2015
|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.
Demographic statistics according to the World Population Review in 2019.
- One birth every 9 minutes
- One death every 10 minutes
- One net migrant every 38 minutes
- Net gain of one person every 28 minutes
- 5,537,364 (July 2018 est.)
- Age structure
- 0-14 years: 16.44% (male 465,298 /female 445,186)
- 15-24 years: 11.21% (male 317,500 /female 303,326)
- 25-54 years: 37.64% (male 1,064,751 /female 1,019,748)
- 55-64 years: 13.19% (male 359,434 /female 370,993)
- 65 years and over: 21.51% (male 519,775 /female 671,353) (2018 est.)
- 0-14 years: 16.43% (male 463,432/female 443,384)
- 15-24 years: 11.4% (male 321,609/female 307,458)
- 25-54 years: 37.78% (male 1,064,427/female 1,020,285)
- 55-64 years: 13.29% (male 360,821/female 372,794)
- 65 years and over: 21.1% (male 506,342/female 657,819) (2017 est.)
- Median age
- total: 42.6 years. Country comparison to the world: 27th
- male: 41 years
- female: 44.3 years (2018 est.)
- total: 42.5 years
- male: 40.9 years
- female: 44.3 years (2017 est.)
- Birth rate
- 10.7 births/1,000 population (2018 est.) Country comparison to the world: 183rd
- Death rate
- 10.1 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.) Country comparison to the world: 35th
- 10 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
- Total fertility rate
- 1.75 children born/woman (2018 est.) Country comparison to the world: 160th
- Mother's mean age at first birth
- 28.8 years (2015 est.)
- Population growth rate
- 0.33% (2018 est.) Country comparison to the world: 167th
- 0.36% (2017 est.)
- Net migration rate
- 2.8 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.) Country comparison to the world: 41st
- 2.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
- Life expectancy at birth
- total population: 81 years. (2017 est.) Country comparison to the world: 31st
- male: 78 years
- female: 84.1 years
- Infant mortality rate
- total: 2.5 deaths/1,000 live births Country comparison to the world: 220th
- male: 2.7 deaths/1,000 live births
- female: 2.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.)
- Ethnic groups
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.)
- total dependency ratio: 57.9
- youth dependency ratio: 25.9
- elderly dependency ratio: 32
- potential support ratio: 3.1 (2015 est.)
- urban population: 85.4% of total population (2018)
- rate of urbanization: 0.42% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
- School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
- total: 19 years
- male: 19 years
- female: 20 years (2015)
- Unemployment, youth ages 15–24
- total: 20.1%. Country comparison to the world: 65th
- male: 21.8%
- female: 18.6% (2016 est.)
- Sex ratio
- at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
- 0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
- 15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
- 25-54 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
- 55-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
- 65 years and over: 0.76 male(s)/female
- total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
Ethnic minorities and languages
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.
Finnish people — Finns — speak Finnish, which is the dominant language and is spoken almost everywhere in the country or Swedish which is the second official language and the only official language in Åland.
- The government only considers the Finnish or Swedish the "working languageof the person" in this context, and "bilinguality" has no official standing.
The largest minority group in Finland is the Swedish-speaking Finns, who in 2018 numbered about 282,300, with all Swedish speakers in the country making a total of 288,400 which is 5.2% 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 municipalities. These municipalities are found in coastal areas, from Ostrobothnia to the southern coast, and in the archipelago of Åland.
|3,736 (December 2018)|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Finnish · Languages of Pakistan · English|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Pakistanis in Denmark, Pakistanis in Norway|
In 1971 around 100 Pakistanis came to Finland for jobs. Finland didn't want cheap labour so they turned them all down. As of 31 December 2018 there are 3,736 people of Pakistani background living in Finland, 3,065 of these people were born in Pakistan.
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 their people 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 Sami, who lived concentrated in a single region, the Romani lived throughout Finland. While most Sami 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 Sami, 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.
In 2011 there were about 30,000 people who identified as Karelian in Finland. About 5,000 of them are fluent or native in the Karelian language but about 25,000 of them can speak Karelian. The Karelians are a closely related ethnic group to Finns. Karelians in Finland mostly live in a diaspora around the country and in North-Karelia. All dialects of Karelian are spoken in Finland. Before 2009 Karelian was taught as a dialect of Finnish, but in 2009 it was given official status as a language in Finland.
Many Finnish natives have emigrated abroad, sometimes escaping war, e.g. to Sweden, sometimes for economical reasons, e.g. to the United States and Canada. Current numbers of emigration are not well discussed in public, but the decreasing standard of living in Finland has forced many people and families to look for a living.
A total of 245,864 Finnish citizens emigrated abroad between 1990 and 2017. The most popular destinations have been Sweden (76,269), United Kingdom (21,939), United States (18,943), Norway (16,971), Germany (16,694), Spain (14,209) and Denmark (9,626).
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.
At the end of 2019, there were 451,179 foreign-born residents in Finland, corresponding to 7.9% of the total population. Of these, 316,201 (5,5%) were born outside the EU and 134,978 (2.4%) were born in another EU Member State.
The largest groups were:
- Russia and former Soviet Union (88,057)
- Estonia (52,424)
- Sweden (36,921)
- Iraq (32,208)
- Somalia (20,994)
- Albania and former Yugoslavia (14,513)
- China (12,407)
- Thailand (11,843)
- Turkey (10,031)
- Vietnam (9,906)
- Afghanistan (9,341)
- Iran and Kurdistan (9,086)
- India (8,656)
- Syria (7,741)
- Germany (7,192)
- Poland (6,762)
- Philippines (5,691)
- United States (5,276)
- Romania (5,000)
- United kingdom (4,983)
- Nepal (3,792)
- Pakistan (3,540)
- Bangladesh (3,218)
- Ukraine (3,191)
- Italy (3,089)
- Spain (3,076)
Evangelical Lutheran church is the largest church in Finland, 68.7% of population were its members in the end of year 2019. 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 2019, 1.7% of population was in other religious groups, and 28.5% in census register or of unknown religious status.
There were an estimated 102,000 Muslims in Finland in 2017.
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.
- In fertility rates, 2.1 and above is a stable population and has been marked blue, 2 and below leads to an aging population and the result is that the population decreases.
- "Population structure 2012 - annual review". Statistics Finland. 2013. Retrieved 21 January 2017.
- "Statistics Finland: Finland in Figures". Retrieved 16 February 2020.
- Helsingin Sanomat 17.5.2017 A4
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