Taxable income

In 2016, the majority of working-age residents with foreign background had at least some taxable income. In Helsinki, those who had none at all accounted for 15 per cent of all working-age residents with foreign background and born abroad. Having no income was slightly more common in Helsinki than elsewhere in Finland. Those who had no taxable income included people receiving some social benefits, pensions or daily allowances. Child benefits, for example, are not subject to tax, nor are housing benefits or social assistance. In the statistics, those people having no income at all also include people who have moved away from Finland without reporting it.

Income level can be analysed by looking at how people fall into various income classes. In the present context, Finland’s entire population, as shown in the national income statistics of 2016, is divided into four income quartiles. If we look at only those residents who had state taxable incomes, the proportion of 20–64 year olds belonging to the highest quartile in 2016 was 40 per cent among residents with Finnish background and 17 per cent among immigrants. The lowest income quartile included around 20 per cent of the population with Finnish background but 42 per cent of the population with foreign background born abroad. If we look at the proportion of immigrants among all 20–64 year olds in Helsinki, it was around 25 per cent in the lowest income quartile in 2016.  Women born abroad especially have low incomes in Helsinki.