Helsinki population continued strong growth in 2015

The population of Helsinki was 628,208 at the turn of the year 2016. The population grew by 7,493 during 2015, which was slightly less than in the three previous years. The difference between births and deaths increased the population by 1,881, which was slightly up from 2014. Helsinki also gained residents from abroad and from Finland outside the Helsinki region. The population of the Helsinki region grew by 17,600; the population of the whole nation grew by 15,500. The growth was focused in the Helsinki region even more strongly than in previous years.

The share of 15- to 29-year-olds continues to be emphasized in Helsinki compared with the Helsinki metropolitan area and the rest of Finland. The number of people aged 65 and above and those in comprehensive school increased, as did their share of the population. The number of children grew owing to the fairly small regional migration loss and migration gain from abroad. The number of people aged 65 and above grew owing to the general aging of the population.

The population grew in all Helsinki districts apart from Östersundom, the most rapidly in the Central and Southern districts. In January–May 2016, the Helsinki population grew by nearly 3,000, down by 50 from the same period in 2015.

Migration gain from outside the region grew, migration loss to neighbouring municipalities increased

Migration loss from Helsinki to the other municipalities of the Helsinki region, typical of Helsinki, peaked in 2005, when it was 4,800. The migration loss began to contract in 2008, but last year’s migration loss at 1,587 was larger than in 2014. However, Helsinki gained more people from elsewhere in Finland than ever since 2001, that is, 5,151.

The migration gain from abroad to Helsinki was 1,983, down by 800 from the previous year. The rapid growth in the number of asylum seekers since late summer 2015 is not reflected in the numbers. The asylum seekers granted residence will be assigned to municipalities and reflected in municipal population numbers only afterwards.

The number of births in Helsinki was 7,016 in 2015, which is more than ever since 1970. The number of deaths was 5,135, up by 86 since last year. The number of births per female resident was 1.3, which is 0.35 less than the national number. The life expectancy of a newborn Helsinki male was 78.1 years in 2015 and that of a female 83.6 years. Life expectancy has continued a steady growth. It has remained somewhat below the national numbers, but the gap has narrowed in recent years. However, local differences in life expectancy inside Helsinki continue to be large.

More than half of couples are childless, the number of single-person households is significant

More than half of all couples were childless, 30 percent of them married and 21 percent unmarried. Households with children numbered 75,927, and in 21 percent of them the children were aged 18 or above. In 79 percent of families, at least one of the children was younger than 18, and 43 percent of families had at least one child under school age. 28 percent of families had only one parent. Nearly half of all households (48%) were single-person households, and 25 percent of Helsinki residents lived alone. Living alone is far more common in Helsinki than elsewhere in Finland.

Foreign-born population continues to grow

The number of residents speaking some other language than Finnish, Swedish or Sami (the official languages of Finland) as their first language rose to 14.0 percent. The main foreign languages spoken as the first language were Russian (17,176), Estonian (11,921) and Somali (8,676). These languages represented 43 percent of all foreign languages. An increasing share of Helsinki’s population growth takes place among the foreign-born population. 9.2 percent of the Helsinki residents were foreign nationals.

The Helsinki region consists of the municipalities of Espoo, Helsinki, Hyvinkää, Järvenpää, Kauniainen, Kerava, Kirkkonummi, Mäntsälä, Nurmijärvi, Pornainen, Sipoo, Tuusula, Vantaa and Vihti.

City of Helsinki Urban Facts