The number of non-Finnish speaking residents is projected to grow at a slower pace in Helsinki compared to its neighboring cities, Espoo and Vantaa, according to a recent statistical publication by the City of Helsinki. The data, compiled in collaboration with the municipalities of Espoo, Vantaa, and Uusimaa Regional Council, highlights the concentration of non-Finnish speaking population in Uusimaa, particularly in the capital region.
The non-Finnish speaking population in Uusimaa, home to the capital region, has been rapidly increasing, making it a pivotal area for demographic shifts. The figures indicate that by 2030, the non-Finnish speaking population in Helsinki is predicted to reach 154,700 individuals, a significant rise from 114,100 in the beginning of 2022 – an increase of 40,000 people. Meanwhile, the growth in Espoo and Vantaa is even more accelerated. The combined non-Finnish speaking population in these cities is projected to surpass Helsinki's count by a fifth by the end of the current decade.
As of the beginning of 2022, 58% of the entire non-Finnish speaking population in Finland resided in Uusimaa. This concentration is expected to continue, with projections suggesting that the non-Finnish speaking population in Uusimaa could more than double, and its proportion within the overall population could rise from the current 16% to 21% during the current decade.
By 2030, it is estimated that Helsinki will be home to 154,700 non-Finnish speaking residents. In comparison, the figures for Espoo and Vantaa are expected to be 95,000 and 91,000 respectively. The combined non-Finnish speaking population of these two cities will exceed Helsinki's by a fifth, a significant shift considering that in 2020, Helsinki still had a higher number of non-Finnish speaking residents.
Outside Helsinki's metropolitan area, known as the KUUMA region, the non-Finnish speaking population is anticipated to reach approximately 41,400 residents by 2030. In contrast, the non-Finnish speaking population outside the Helsinki metropolitan area of Uusimaa is expected to be around 14,000 residents.
Regarding linguistic patterns, the number of residents speaking languages from outside the Middle East Asia region, such as Chinese, Vietnamese, and Nepali, is predicted to see the greatest increase. In contrast, the count of residents speaking languages from the Baltic region is expected to decrease.
The projections further indicate that a growing percentage of the non-Finnish speaking population is born in Finland. This trend is particularly noticeable among younger individuals, with over half of non-Finnish speaking residents under 20 years old already born in Finland. This trend emphasizes the importance of recognizing that a significant portion of non-Finnish speaking residents born in Finland have acquired proficiency in Finnish or Swedish, which is essential for accessing various services.