Immigrants in Southeast Finland

Approximately 5.2% of the foreign-speaking population in Finland lives in Southeast Finland (Kymenlaakso and South Karelia). The largest language groups are Russian, Estonian, English, Thai and Somali speakers.

The numbers of foreign-language speakers vary greatly in different municipalities of the region. In Southeast Finland, the immigrant population concentrates in Lappeenranta, Kotka, Kouvola, Imatra and Hamina.

In 2014, about 11,500 foreign citizens were living in Southeast Finland. The number of foreign-language speakers exceeded 16,200, accounting for about 5.2% of the population in the entire region. The proportion of foreign-language speakers was the highest in Kotka (8.3% of residents) and Lappeenranta (6.3%).

In their age structure, immigrants differ from the population as a whole: the largest group in relative terms are those in working age, or aged 25 to 44 years, while the group in retirement age (aged over 65) is the smallest.