There were 94,888 residents with foreign background in Helsinki at the beginning of 2017, which was 14.9 per cent of the total city population. 83 per cent of them (78,310 persons) were born abroad and 17 per cent (16,578) in Finland.
In 2016 the population with foreign background in Helsinki grew by 5,010 people i.e. 5.6 per cent. The growth rate was slowest in ten years but persons with foreign background accounted nonetheless for almost three fourths of the total population growth.
At the beginning of 2018, the number of residents with a foreign mother tongue (i.e. other than Finnish, Swedish or Sami) in Helsinki amounted to 98,269, which was equivalent to 15.3 per cent of the city’s total population. The number of foreign nationals living in Helsinki was 60,969, making up 9.5 per cent of the city’s population.
Whilst 12 per cent of Finland’s entire population lived in Helsinki, more than every fourth resident with foreign background lived in the capital city, and almost half of them lived in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, which is home to around 20 per cent of the whole population. In Vantaa and Espoo the share of residents with foreign background was higher than in Helsinki.
In Finland as a whole, the share of population with foreign background was 6.6 per cent at the beginning of 2017. In the Helsinki Region excluding Helsinki 11.8 per cent and elsewhere in Finland only 4.3 per cent of the population had a foreign background.
Compared to major cities in other Nordic countries, the share of population with foreign background in Helsinki is relatively low. In Oslo and Stockholm every third resident and in Copenhagen almost every fourth resident had a foreign background at the beginning of 2017.