MDI carried out a study for the Association of Finnish Municipalities on the development of the number of non-native born language speakers in Finland in the period up to the 2040s. The growth in the number of this group in the 2010s has been really strong, with growth very strongly concentrated in the largest cities. The increase in their number is explained, among other things, by immigration which brings about 15 000–16 000 people a year to Finland, as well as by high birth rates and low mortality in this group, given the young age structure of immigrants generally.
The study identified two different scenarios, a basic scenario and a growth scenario; in the first, the migration of the non-native born population will remain the same as in 2010–2018, while in the second, it will increase to 25 000 per year up to 2040. By 2040, that would mean 870 000 non-native born language speakers in terms of the basic scenario and 970 000 in terms of the growth scenario. In practice, the number of this group in the populations would thus double by 2040 compared to the current situation.
Of the C23 cities*, the share of non-native born speakers in the population is highest in Vantaa, Espoo and Helsinki and lowest in Seinäjoki, Kajaani and Kokkola. Within the group of non-native born language speakers, internal movements are mainly directed to the Helsinki metropolitan area and, secondarily, to Turku and Tampere. The subjects of the analysis were the 21 largest cities with more than 50 000 inhabitants and, among those cities with less than 50 000 inhabitants, the central cities of their provinces Kokkola and Kajaani. The data consisted of Statistics Finland’s databases and the forecast of the non-native born language speaking population calculated on the basis of these. A non-native born language speaker is defined as a person who speaks a mother tongue other than Finnish, Swedish or Sámi. The report forms part of the Association of Finnish To Municipalities! project.
* C23 cities: the 21 largest cities (so-called C21 cities) + Kajaani and Kokkola.