In 2016, the population of Helsinki grew by 6,973 people i.e. 1.1 per cent. Contrary to the situation in Finland as a whole, the number of births has been growing in recent years in Helsinki. In 2016, however, nativity started falling in Helsinki, too, where natural population growth amounted to 1,673.
The total migration gain of Helsinki in 2016 was 5,102 people: International net migration was 1,817 people and domestic net migration 3,285 people.
Foreign net migration has been clearly positive ever since the year 2000, albeit net migration gains have been in decline ever since 2011 and were smallest in over ten years in 2016. This was, above all, due to growing net migration losses of domestic-mother-tongue residents.
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 2016, of the 42,562 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 3,830 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 but has been declining after 2012 due to declining foreign net migration. Yet in 2016, the net migration gain of people with a foreign mother tongue was higher than the previous year. The total migration gain of foreign nationals was 3,583 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 7,500 people with a national mother tongue but an international net migration gain of 46,000 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 small positive net effect as well. In 2016, domestic net migration accounted for 21 per cent of the total migration gain of foreign-language speakers.