Greater Helsinki’s foreign-language population to double by year 2035

The foreign-language population residing in the 14 municipalities that constitute Greater Helsinki is forecast to increase from present 201,000 to 437,000 by year 2035. Thus, the foreign-language speakers' share of the region’s general population will grow from 14 percent at present to 25 percent. According to a new projection, the number of people with a foreign native language will grow slightly faster than had previously been estimated. By 2030, the new projection surpasses the old by 29,000 people. These figures emerge from a statistical publication recently released by Helsinki’s City Executive Office.

Vantaa to have the highest share of foreign-language speakers in 2035

According to the projection, Helsinki’s foreign-language residents will increase from the present-day number of about 100,000 to almost 200,000, and their share of the population at large will grow to 26 percent from the current 15. In Espoo, their number is set to grow from 45,000 to 105,000, and their share from 16 percent to 30. Currently, around 40,000 foreign-language speakers reside in Vantaa, and as for year 2035, the projected number is approximately 95,000, while their share of all residents is forecast to increase from current 18 percent to 34. It emerges from the projection that in the peripheral parts of Greater Helsinki1, the number of foreign-language speakers will grow to 38,000 people, i.e. 11 percent of the entire population in the area.

The number of residents within the age groups that are eligible to attend daycare or go to school will double from the current figures and their share will reach 30 percent. With regard to the municipalities of the Capital Region, foreign-language children are forecast to constitute up to one-third of all children. It is predicted that over two-thirds of this group will nevertheless be made up of children who were born in Finland.

The aforementioned proportions have been deduced from population projections calculated in 2018. Were the entire population to grow to larger numbers than so forecast, the proportions of foreign-language speakers will stay lower.

The share of people who speak languages originating in the Baltic States set to decrease

In 2035, the largest foreign-language groups will be made up of speakers of Middle Eastern and North African languages, on the one hand, and Far Eastern languages, on the other hand. Both groups will include about 88,000 people. The language group made up residents from Russia and other parts of the former Soviet Union (the Baltic States excluded) will grow to 72,000 inhabitants. The sub-Saharan and the Western European language groups are both bound to grow to almost 52,000 people. However, the number of people who speak the languages of the Baltic States will increase at a much slower pace than previously. Their number is forecast to be 41,000 in 2035. In Helsinki, the number of residents who speak the languages of the Baltic States will even decrease. 

The largest language groups in Helsinki and Espoo are projected to be those of Middle Eastern and North African as well as Far Eastern origin. In Vantaa, however, the largest language group is made up of people who speak Russian and other languages from the former Soviet Union. In Greater Helsinki’s peripheral parts, those who speak a language from the Baltic States will remain the largest group.

The new projection of the foreign-language population residing in the Capital Area and the peripheral parts of Greater Helsinki for years 2018–2035 has been compiled as a joint project by the Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa units for statistics and research.

1 The peripheral parts include the following municipalities: Hyvinkää, Järvenpää, Kerava, Kirkkonummi, Mäntsälä, Nurmijärvi, Pornainen, Sipoo, Tuusula and Vihti.


Helsingin seudun vieraskielisen väestön ennuste 2018–2035 (in Finnish), pdf-publication, Issuu-publication.


System Manager Pekka Vuori, Helsinki, phone 09 310 36300
Researcher Teija Jokiranta, Espoo, phone 043 826 5208
Research Manager Henrik Lönnqvist, Vantaa, phone 09 8392 3005