People in a park in Helsinki. Photo: Lauri Rotko, City of Helsinki

Helsinki’s population growth in 2019 still slightly slower than in the 2010s on average

On 1 January 2020, Helsinki had 653,835 inhabitants. In 2019, its population had grown by 5,793. However, Helsinki’s migration loss to its neighbouring municipalities had grown, too, while its migration gain from abroad had decreased. This, among other news on Helsinki’s population, can be read in a fresh publication from Helsinki City Executive Office’s Urban Research and Statistics Unit.

In 2019, Helsinki’s population grew through, partly, natural population growth, namely the difference between the number of births and deaths, partly immigration. There were 4,643 more people moving to Helsinki than moving away.

Helsinki’s migration gain from the rest of Finland outside the Helsinki Region was as large as in 2018. The migration gain from abroad – 2,900 people – was the largest since 2012. Although the proportion of Europeans among those moving in from abroad has decreased, almost half of the immigrants came from other European countries.

Of Helsinki’s migration gain 66 per cent had a foreign mother tongue. At the same time, people with a foreign mother tongue had been moving to other municipalities in the Helsinki region to such an extent that Helsinki now had a migration loss of 150 in this category. Of the migration gain of the entire Helsinki region, three-quarters had some other mother tongue than the domestic ones, i.e. Finnish or Swedish.

Historically low birth rates

In 2019, the number of births in Helsinki was 6,332, still fewer than in the previous year. The total fertility rate declined to 1.11 children. This is the lowest rate since 1973.

Fertility was lower by one-fifth in Helsinki than in the rest of Finland. But although the total fertility rate is lower in Helsinki, the number of births has, owing to population growth and the age structure, decreased less in Helsinki than in the rest of Finland.

Falling number of children of early childhood education age

The number of 1-6 year olds decreased by 500 because of falling birth rates and increasing out-migration, now for the first time since 2006. In return, the number of 7-15 year olds grew by 1,400.

The proportion of single residents grew

In Helsinki, one in four residents live alone, and the proportion of single dwellers among households (which peaked in 2007) has been growing since 2017, to its present 49 per cent. Among younger age groups, especially, the number and proportion of single households has grown since the previous year.

Immigrants’ proportion of the population still growing

On 1 January 2020, Helsinki had 107,671 residents with a foreign background, which was over 4,200 more than in the previous year. More than four-fifths of them were first-generation immigrants. The number of second-generation immigrants was up at 20,100, thereby 1,100 more than a year earlier. However, in certain immigrant categories, the proportion of second-generation immigrants is larger, for example among East Africans, up at 40 per cent.

Those residents who have some other mother tongue than the domestic ones increased in number by 4,234, which was more than a year earlier. The largest categories were those with Russian (18,869 people), Somali (11,466), or Estonian (10,620) as their mother tongue. Almost 40 per cent of those with a foreign mother tongue belonged to either of these groups.

These figures are based on Statistics Finland’s data. In this analysis, the Helsinki Region consists of the municipalities Espoo, Helsinki, Hyvinkää, Järvenpää, Kauniainen, Kerava, Kirkkonummi, Mäntsälä, Nurmijärvi, Pornainen, Sipoo, Tuusula, Vantaa and Vihti.


Helsingin väestö vuodenvaihteessa 2019/2020 ja väestönmuutokset vuonna 2019. Helsinki City Executive Office Statistics 2020:10. PDF publication, in Finnish. Later to be available in print.