Immigrants in Satakunta
At the end of 2018, the total population of Satakunta was 218,624 of whom 7,632 or 3.5%, were foreign-language speakers. About 1.9% of all foreign-language speakers in Finland live in Satakunta. As some of the immigrants have received Finnish citizenship, the proportion of foreign-language speakers describes the number of immigrants better than foreign citizenship. In Satakunta, the greatest influx of immigrants has been seen in Pori. Of the 84,403 residents in the City of Pori, 2,837 were foreign-language speakers at the end of 2018, accounting for 3.4% of all residents. In relative terms, the highest number of foreign-language speaking residents was found in Honkajoki: of the 1,666 residents in this municipality, 108, or 6.5%, are foreign-language speakers. (Source: Statistics Finland.)
Immigration to Satakunta has increased since the early 1990s, especially in recent years. In 2016, 932 people with a foreign background moved into Satakunta, and there were 933 immigrants in 2017, which is nearly as many. (Source: Statistics Finland, Integration database)
Today, more than 90 different languages are spoken in Satakunta. In addition to the domestic languages, the largest language groups in 2018 were:
- Russian (1,349)
- Estonian (1,191)
- Polish (682)
- Arabic (376)
- Turkish (328)
- English (324)
- Romanian (308)
- Thai (295)
- Ukrainian (243)
- French (228)
Source: Statistics Finland
The age structure of the foreign language speakers is younger than the population speaking Finnish, Swedish or Sami, and most of them are men. The largest age group of foreign language speakers are the 30–34-year-olds.
Many different reasons to move
People move to Satakunta as well as to other areas from abroad for family reasons, to work or study, or based on international protection. The area has international companies, and its universities also offer training programmes in English. In 2015, several reception centres, emergency housing units and group homes for asylum seekers were established rapidly in Satakunta. The activities continue today at the reception centres in Pori, Rauma and Kankaanpää. Refugees who have received a residence permit have stayed to live in the area. The ELY Centre for Satakunta has an agreement on receiving refugees with each of the 17 municipalities in Satakunta. In recent years, Pori, Rauma and Eura have received quota refugees.
The Multicultural Association of Satakunta operates in Satakunta; it manages the International Meeting Point in Pori, organises clubs and language courses, among other things, and supports integration and employment. The association includes many immigrant communities as well as native Finns, and it offers a wide variety of activities for people of different ages. The Satakunta district of the Finnish Red Cross has been doing multicultural work in the area for a long time, and the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare supports the integration of mothers and families with children in particular. In addition to basic integration services and integration training, there are several projects in Satakunta that promote the integration and employment of immigrants.
The Advisory Board for Ethnic Relations in Western Finland is tasked with promoting good ethnic relations in Southwest Finland and Satakunta.