Statistically, population with foreign background can be analysed with regard to the country of birth, nationality or mother tongue. In this publication, most statistics are based on foreign origin or mother tongue, and the data is based on public registers. Some groups of people, such as asylum seekers and other people without a permanent place of residence in Helsinki, are not included in these registers.

Country of birth is the country in which the mother had permanent residence at the time the child was born. Some of those born abroad may be born as Finnish nationals and some others have acquired a Finnish citizenship after moving to Finland.

Population with a foreign mother tongue include all who do not speak Finnish, Swedish or Sami (the official languages of Finland) as their mother tongue. Finnish, Swedish and Sami are referred to as national languages in the report. However, in some statistics Sami is not separated from foreign languages. The mother tongue is recorded statistically when the parents register the name of the child.

Population with foreign background refer to people of foreign origin i.e. those, regardless of their own country of birth, whose both parents have been born abroad. The background country is primarily the country of birth of the biological mother. Those born abroad are regarded as the first generation of the population with foreign background and those born in Finland as the second generation.

Foreign nationals refer to people with a permanent place of residence in Finland but without Finnish citizenship. A person may have citizenship in more than one country. If one of these citizenships is Finnish, the person is recorded as a Finnish citizen.

The statistically recorded population are those with a permanent place of residence in Helsinki on the day of reference regardless of their nationality. Foreign nationals are considered to have permanent residence in Finland if their stay is intended to last or has already lasted at least a year. Asylum seekers waiting for the decision on asylum are not included in the statistics since they do not have an official home municipality in Finland. Quota refugees and asylum seekers who have been granted a residence permit are included in the population of the municipality where they have been received. Staff of embassies, trade missions or consulates and their family members are not included in Helsinki’s population unless they are Finnish citizens.

Source: Statistics Finland