On average, persons with foreign background have significantly less housing space per person than Helsinki other residents: 9 per cent of residents with Finnish background and 25 per cent of residents with foreign background lived in crowded conditions at the end of 2017. According to Statistics Finland, a dwelling is over-crowded when there is more than one person per room excluding kitchen. In general, over-crowded housing is most common among large households. However, persons with foreign background live in over-crowded homes more frequently than other residents regardless of the size of the household.

Residents with foreign background also live in smaller homes (by square metres). In one-person households, there is no significant difference in the average dwelling size between persons with either foreign or Finnish background. For five-member households, for example, the average dwelling size is 107 square metres among the population with Finnish background versus more than 20 square metres less among population with foreign background. Households with Finnish background have more floor space per person (35 square metres) than households with foreign background (25 square metres).