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Finland sees historic number of deaths but record-high immigration

The population of Finland grew by over 17,000 people in 2022.

Arkku Vatialan krematorion vainajien säilytyskaapissa.
Finland's 2022 death toll reached its highest number since Finland's years at war in the 1940s. Image: Timo Turpeinen / Yle
Yle News

The birth rate in Finland fell to record low levels in 2022, according to Statistics Finland's December preliminary population data released on Thursday. In 2022, the number of births was the lowest in over 150 years, while the number of deaths was the highest for Finland since the war years of the 1940s.

During the course of 2022 Finland's population increased by 17,278 people. The reason for the population gain was immigration, with 34,780 more people immigrating to Finland than emigrating from it.

Deaths in Finland outnumbered births in 2022 by 17,953.

January 2022 saw most deaths

Examined by month, January and December were the months with the highest deaths in 2022. In December 2022 there were 5,820 deaths, in January 5,864.

In 2021, the highest number of deaths also corresponded to January and December. The lowest monthly death figure came in June, when 4,519 people died according to preliminary data.

The increase in mortality is reflected in the life expectancy of newborns, which is projected to fall. The last times life expectancy for girls and boys saw a similar level of decline was in 1957 and 1962.

According to the preliminary data, life expectancy for babies born in 2022 would be 78.6 years for boys and 83.8 years for girls. The last time life expectancy in Finland was at the same level for girls was in 2013 and for boys in 2017. In 2022, life expectancy for women will fall for the second year in a row.

Birth rate at an all-time low

In 2022, the number of births was the lowest in more than 150 years. According to December's preliminary statistics, 44,933 children were born in 2022, 4,661 fewer than in 2021.

The decline in the birth rate has been a long-standing trend in Finland. The birth rate started to fall sharply in the 2010s.

Immigration increases population

The number of immigrants was the highest in Statistics Finland's measurement history. In 2022, 48,086 people moved to Finland from abroad, an increase of more than 11,700. At the same time, 13,306 people moved from Finland to other countries.

The number of immigrants in 2022 does not include Ukrainians granted residence permits from Finland under temporary protection.

Population grows the most in Uusimaa

In 2022, the largest increase in population was recorded in Uusimaa, where the population grew by just over 19,000 people.

According to preliminary data by region, in 2022 the population increased in Uusimaa, Pirkanmaa, Southwest Finland, North Ostrobothnia, Ostrobothnia and Åland.

In terms of numbers, the largest population loss was recorded in Kymenlaakso, which lost 1,862 people. The second largest population loss was in Satakunta, where the population decreased by 1,628 people.

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