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2018 sees Finland’s slowest population growth in nearly 50 years

The number of people who spoke Finland, Swedish or Sámi as their native language fell by 36,000 in 2018.

Nuori ja vanha nainen kävelevät kadulla.
Image: Ismo Pekkarinen / AOP

Finland’s population grew by 4,789 in 2018, according to fresh population data released by state number cruncher Statistics Finland on Friday.

The numbers show that the last time that population growth was as slow was in 1970. Over the past five years, the number of people who speak Finnish, Swedish or Sámi as their native language fell by 36,000. At the same time, the number of foreign-language speakers rose by roughly 103,000.

By the end of 2018, people over the age of 65 accounted for one-fifth of the entire population. The number of residents under the age of 15 was 882,000 making the official population at the end of 2018 5,517,919.

The country’s dependency ratio was 60.8 percent. That means that the number of non-working age people was 60.8 percent of the number of people in the labour force. The last time that the dependency ration was higher was in 1959.

The location with the highest number of children and elderly people versus the number of working-age people was in Luhanka, central Finland, where the ratio was 106.1.

Meanwhile the Helsinki region had the lowest proportion of non-working age people to the size of the labour force at 45.6.

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