Somali community in Finland
|16,721 (2014) A further 2,000 refugees accepted in 2015|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Finland||16,721 (number of Somali speakers)|
|Somali · Finnish · Swedish|
The first Somali immigrants came to Finland in the early 1990s. Between 1990 and 1995, the number of Somalia citizens in Finland jumped from 44 to 4,044. The first arrivals were university students from Soviet universities in the former Soviet Union (see Zahra Abdulla). Later, more asylum seekers arrived directly from Somalia, many through a program of family unification.
Like other immigrant groups in Finland, particularly Muslims, Somalis have been targets of hate crimes. According to a 2009 report by the Police College of Finland, 8% of total victims were Somali-born, while representing only 4% of suspected offenders. Most suspected perpetrators are young Finnish men, with similarly-aged Somali, Iraqi and Turkish immigrants mainly targeted. According to social workers, the pressure of living between two disparate cultures has also resulted in instances of petty crime amongst disaffected 17- to 20-year-olds in the Somali community. The situation is compounded by the unfamiliarity of Somali parents with the various social services that are available to address similar circumstances. To tackle the issue, Somali community organizations have teamed up with Finnish police and social services officials, with the municipal authorities in Helsinki endeavouring to recruit more Somali social workers. However, the situation has steadily improved over the years, as more Somali immigrants have found employment in their own community, although much of this work is unmeasured. While some Somalis with language training have found jobs in their own field, others, like immigrants in general, have obtained short-term work positions.
Somalis are one of the largest ethnic minorities in Finland, and the largest visible group of people of non-European origin. In 2009, there were 5,570 Somali citizens, but an equal number may have received Finnish citizenship. According to the Finnish National newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat, the number of Somali-speaking people in Finland in 2010 rose by nearly 10% in a year. In 2014, there were 16,721 Somali speakers in Finland.
- Via svenskan - Den svenskspråkiga integrationsvägen
- "Migration in Europe: Looking for a home". The Economist. 29 Aug 2015. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
- Foreigners in Finland -ex Virtual Finland 2008 archived at Wayback Machine
- Hate Crimes Reported in Finland, 2008
- The number of racist crimes drops – the impact of the phenomenon of hate speech is still a mystery
- Helsinki officials and Somali community groups ponder youth crime issue
- Huge differences in employment rates among immigrants from various countries
- Somalis’ employment situation improving steadily
- Helsingin Sanomat
- Statistics Finland - Statistical databases
- (Finnish) Ulkomaalaiset Suomessa