Pedestrians crossing a street near the market square in Turku, Southwest Finland, on 18 January 2023. Southwest Finland was one of six regions that saw their population increase from the previous year in 2022, indicates preliminary data unveiled by Statistics Finland. (Emmi Korhonen – Lehtikuva)


STATISTICS FINLAND on Thursday released preliminary data revealing that immigration was the sole driver of population growth in Finland in 2022.

The data shows that the number of births fell by 4,661 from the previous year to 44,933, its lowest level in more than 150 years. The number of deaths contrastively jumped by 5,227 from the previous year to 62,886, representing a new high in the post-war era.

The number of deaths was high particularly in January (5,864) and December (5,820) but low in June (4,519).

The life expectancy of newborn boys fell by 0.5 years to 78.6 years and that of girls by 0.6 years to 83.8 years in 2022, representing new lows since 2017 and 2013, respectively. Such drops in life expectancies had not been recorded since 1957, according to Statistics Finland.

The number of immigrants to the country surged by 11,700 year-on-year to an all-time record high of 48,086. As the number of people who emigrated stood at only 13,306, Finland registered a net migration gain of 35,000, a number that more than made up for the widening gap (18,000) between births and deaths.

Ukrainians granted temporary protection are not included in the data, as it consists of only people who have a home municipality in Finland.

Regionally, Uusimaa saw its population grow the most, by 19,000. The preliminary data also shows that the number of residents increased in Pirkanmaa, Southwest Finland, North Ostrobothnia, Ostrobothnia and Åland. Kymenlaakso registered the largest population decline both in absolute and relative terms, as its population contracted by 1,862 or 1.16 per cent from the previous year.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT