Foreign language speakers overtake number of Sámi and Swedish-speakers in Finland

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(Yle Newsgraphics)
(Yle Newsgraphics)
People whose first language is other than Finnish, Swedish or Sámi presently account for around 90% of the nation’s population growth.

The largest single group are Russian-speakers.

According to projections from Statistics Finland, the total number of speakers of languages other than Finnish, Swedish or Sámi has overtaken, or is just now overtaking, the size of Finland’s Swedish-speaking minority.

At the end of last year, the number of people in Finland whose mother tongue was Swedish stood at 290,910 individuals, 5.3% of the population. There were only 1,800 fewer people whose first language was not one of the two official national languages or one of the Sámi languages which have official status in several northern municipalities.

In 2013 Finland’s population saw a net gain of 24,600. The number of foreign-language speakers grew by around 22,000.

The number of people whose first language is registered as Finnish increased by 2,500 and those registered as Sámi by 30. The total of Swedish-speakers declined by 67.

Related Links:

Canada: Speaking the same language, the survival of Inuktitut in the North?, Eye on the Arctic

Finland: Finland’s Arctic languages under threat as Sami move south, Yle News

United States: Push to give Alaska Native languages official status, Alaska Dispatch

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