In 2018, the population of Helsinki grew by 4,770 people i.e. 0.7 per cent. In Finland as a whole, the number of births has been falling in recent years. In 2016, nativity started falling in Helsinki, too. In 2018 the natural population growth was 1,197 people.

The total migration gain of Helsinki in 2018 was 3,760 people: International net migration was 1,301 people and domestic net migration 2,459 people.

Foreign net migration has been clearly positive ever since the year 2000, albeit net migration gains have been in decline ever since 2011.

Domestic net migration has varied more than has foreign net migration. Those moving from Helsinki to other parts of Finland outnumbered those moving to Helsinki in the years 2002–2007, but since then, domestic migration has been raising Helsinki’s population figure.

In 2018, of the 42,286 people who moved to Helsinki, 28 per cent had a foreign mother tongue and 24 per cent were foreign nationals. The net migration of population with a foreign mother tongue was 2,545 people, which accounted for two-thirds of the total migration gain in Helsinki.

Net migration of people with a foreign mother tongue grew clearly during the first decade of the 2000s. In 2018, the net migration gain of people with a foreign mother tongue was lower than the previous year due to growing domestic net emigration. The total migration gain of foreign nationals was 3,041 people.

The migration of population with foreign background to or from Helsinki has been characterized by strong immigration from abroad and relatively lively migration within Finland. Over the 2000s, Helsinki has had an international net migration loss of 9,000 people with a national mother tongue but an international net migration gain of 51,000 people with a foreign mother tongue. The number of residents with foreign background in Helsinki is rising primarily due to international migration but domestic migration has a growing positive net effect as well. In 2018, domestic net migration accounted for 11 per cent of the total migration gain of foreign-language speakers.