The population growth and increase in the numbers of working-age people is based on immigration. In 2018, 15,3 % of the city’s population spoke other languages than Finnish or Swedish. This number is expected to grow to 26% of the population, in other words by 100,000 people by 2035. On the other hand, Helsinki’s Finnish and Swedish speaking population is predicted to decrease by the year 2030. However, the number of working-age people speaking foreign languages is estimated to grow by 53,500 people, so all in all Helsinki’s working-age population will grow. In 2030, it is estimated that more than one in four working-age people will speak a foreign language as their first language.
At the end of 2017, a little over 21% of Helsinki’s unemployed people spoke a foreign language as their first language. The number of these people has grown since the end of 2009 by 80%. 39% of Helsinki’s long-term unemployed people and 22% of unemployed people who were under 30 years old spoke a foreign language as their first language.
About 49% of working-age people who had been born abroad had jobs, 17% were unemployed and 35% were outside labour market in 2014. Differences between groups are big: in some language groups, the unemployment figures rise to over 60%.
Currently, about every sixth child in Helsinki speaks a foreign language as their first language. In 2030, it is estimated that every fourth child will speak a language other than Finnish or Swedish as their first language. Furthermore, second generation is reaching adulthood and working age. The majority of the second generation are aged 7–18 years. In 2018, Helsinki had around 18,000 second generation, of which 75 % were under 16 years old. In just 10 to 15 years, the majority of young people in Helsinki will belong to second generation.
The website Population with foreign background in Helsinki, maintained by the City of Helsinki’s Information Centre, has statistics on the demographics, migration, housing, education, employment and income of Helsinki’s population with a foreign background and foreign first language and of foreign citizens.