At the beginning of 2017, around 53 per cent of the total population in Helsinki were women. Among the population with foreign background, and among the population with a foreign mother tongue, men were in the majority with a share of 52 per cent.

However, there are great differences between people from different background continents and language groups. Women were a majority only among those residents with foreign background whose background country was a European country outside the EU.

Differences in gender structure are great between background-country groups, as far as large groups are concerned. Of those persons whose background country was the former Soviet Union 60 per cent and those originating from Estonia 52 per cent were women, whereas with Somalis, men were in a 52 per cent majority.

As a whole, Helsinki’s foreign-background population is younger than the Finnish-origin population. The majority of foreign-background residents are of working age with, for example, 25-44 year olds making up 44 per cent in early 2017. This proportion among the Finnish-background population was less than one-third. The proportion of under 16 year olds was 19 per cent in the foreign-background population and 14 per cent among Finnish-background residents. Instead, the proportion of 65 year olds or older was just 5 per cent in the foreign-background population but almost 20 per cent among those with a domestic mother tongue. There are clear differences of age structure between background-country groups.

The age structure of first-generation foreign-background residents differs clearly from that of second-generation foreign-background residents. At the beginning of 2017, no less than 76 per cent of those with a foreign background born in Finland were no older than 15 years. Of minor foreign-background residents in Helsinki, 70 per cent had been born in Finland. Of first-generation immigrants, on the other hand, 86 per cent were of working age.