Background to integration work

Immigration is increasing and becoming more diverse

Immigration to Finland has increased considerably over the past 15 years, and the foreign population living in the country has almost doubled. In 2015, there were about 230,000 foreign citizens living in Finland, accounting for 4.2% of the population at the end of the year.

Number of foreign citizens in Finland in 1990–2015 (Source: Statistics Finland, Population)

The reasons for immigrating have also become more diverse in comparison to the 1990s, when people mainly immigrated to Finland on humanitarian grounds. Today family ties, work and studies are increasingly important reasons for immigrating to Finland.

The increasing immigration means that the needs of the immigrant population must be addressed in the provision of all public services. Separate measures and services to promote integration are also needed.

Along with increasing immigration, multiculturalism, multilingualism and diversity in values and customs will increasingly characterise Finnish society. Integration is a continuous, two-way process that requires commitment on the part of both immigrants themselves and the receiving society.

Further information:

Statistics Finland: population statistics

Finnish Immigration Service’s statistics