Published: 18 December 2017

Emigration of educated Finnish citizens bigger than immigration

According to Statistics Finland, emigration of Finnish citizens with at least upper secondary qualifications has been bigger than immigration during the past decade. The migration loss has been growing since 2009. Among those with at least lowest level tertiary qualifications, the annual migration loss has grown relatively moderately after 2009. In contrast, the annual migration loss has increased fast in recent years among those with upper secondary qualifications. This is probably at least partly linked to Finnish young people going abroad for studies.

Net immigration of Finnish citizens aged over 18 by level of education in 2005 to 2016

Net immigration of Finnish citizens aged over 18 by level of education in 2005 to 2016

Most immigrants and emigrants aged 25 to 29

There were 6,407 immigrants aged 25 to 29 in 2016, which was 18 per cent of all immigrants. The above-mentioned age group included somewhat more men than women, 56 per cent of the age group. The share of women is slightly bigger than that of men only among immigrants aged 75 and older.

Nearly two-thirds of all immigrants were aged 15 to 39. Over one-half of them were men, 57 per cent. The share of men among all immigrants was also a bit bigger than that of women, 56 per cent.

Those aged 25 to 29 were also most numerous among emigrants, but much fewer than among immigrants. Of emigrants, 2,971 were aged 25 to 29, which was 16 per cent of those having moved from Finland. The difference to immigration was 3,436 persons. Unlike in immigration, more of emigrants were women aged 25 to 29 than men. Of emigrants, 57 per cent were women.

Fifty-nine per cent of emigrants were aged 15 to 39. Contrary to immigration, women formed a majority of those aged 15 to 39 in emigration, 55 per cent. Women had a slim majority of all emigrants, 51 per cent.

Because much more men moved to the country than women and the number of emigrants was divided almost evenly between the sexes, 64 per cent of the migration gain for Finland consisted of men. This corresponds to 10,699 men. Persons aged 15 to 39 accounted for 76 per cent of men’s migration gain. The corresponding share for women was 60 per cent.

In total migration gain, the number of those aged 25 to 29 was highest, in total 3,436 persons. This age group represented one-fifth of the migration gain. The number of men aged 25 to 29 was 2,321, which was 22 per cent of men's migration gain. For women, the share of the corresponding age group in women's migration was slightly lower, 18 per cent of women's migration gain. For both sexes, those aged 25 to 29 held the biggest share of the migration gain.

Immigration by sex and age in 2016

Immigration by sex and age in 2016

Emigration by sex and age in 2016

Emigration by sex and age in 2016

Intermunicipal migration lively

Irrespective of the area type, intermunicipal migration has been lively during the past year 20 years. Migration has been livelier from urban municipalities than from semi-urban and urban municipalities, even though the migration development of both area types has been very similar. The economic downturn slowed down migration from 2008 to 2009 and 2013 to 2014. Typical for the period is a slightly rising trend fluctuating according to economic cycles.

Propensity for intermunicipal migration by the degree of urbanisation of the municipality of out-migration in 1997 to 2016

Propensity for intermunicipal migration by the degree of urbanisation of the municipality of out-migration in 1997 to 2016

When viewing more closely the direction of migration by area type and age group, it is not new that migration from semi-urban and rural municipalities to urban municipalities is much livelier than opposite migration. In 2008 to 2009, the downturn of the country’s economy slowed down migration from urban to semi-urban and rural municipalities among those aged under 45. The downturn particularly decreased migration of that direction in families with children aged zero to four. After 2009, migration recovered slightly for a few years, particularly among those aged 0 to 14 and 25 to 44. Migration has not become as lively as in 2007 among those who move relatively most, the 15 to 24 age group.

Out-migration propensity by age group from urban municipalities to semi-urban municipalities and rural municipalities in 1997 to 2016

Out-migration propensity by age group from urban municipalities to semi-urban municipalities and rural municipalities in 1997 to 2016

The drop in migration from semi-urban and rural municipalities to urban municipalities from 2007 to 2009 was typically much smaller in different age groups than in opposite migration. For example, the migration propensity of families with children aged zero to four from urban to semi-urban and rural municipalities decreased by 21 per cent, while the opposite migration propensity went down by just 10 per cent. In addition, after 2010 moving from semi-urban municipalities and rural municipalities into urban municipalities has in all age groups exceeded the out-migration propensity of 2007.

Out-migration propensity by age group from semi-urban municipalities and rural municipalities to urban municipalities in 1997 to 2016

Out-migration propensity by age group from semi-urban municipalities and rural municipalities to urban municipalities in 1997 to 2016

Persons with foreign background increased the migration gain of urban municipalities

The growing migration gain of urban municipalities mainly consisted of persons with foreign background moving to the country to urban municipalities much more than moving from them. The total migration gain of persons with foreign background in urban municipalities has in recent years been triple or almost quadruple compared to the size of migration gain by persons with Finnish background in urban municipalities.

The migration gain of urban municipalities of in-migration and immigration of persons with foreign background was in total 17,614 migrants and all regions had migration gain in 2016. Of total migration gain, the share of the Uusimaa region is clearly biggest, 61 per cent and the shares of other regions were divided between 0.1 and 5.9 per cent. Kainuu had the smallest share of migration gain.

The total net migration of urban municipalities for persons with Finnish background also had migration gain, 3,817 persons, but urban municipalities of all regions did not have migration gain in 2016. Migration gain was biggest in Pirkanmaa, 2,357 migrants, and Uusimaa, 1,585, in addition to which the gains of nine regions with migration gain varied from 12 in Lapland to 679 in Varsinais-Suomi. The losses of eight regions with migration loss varied from 110 in Kainuu to 644 in Kymenlaakso.

In recent years, the gain of in-migration in urban municipalities has grown bigger year after year. However, migration gain has diminished due to emigration of persons with Finnish background from urban municipalities, which has been bigger than immigration to urban municipalities.

Total net migration¹ in urban municipalities and net migration of intermunicipal migration in urban municipalities by origin in 1997 to 2016

Total net migration¹ in urban municipalities and net migration of intermunicipal migration in urban municipalities by origin in 1997 to 2016
1. Total net migration is the sum of net internal migration and net immigration.

Source: Migration 2016. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Matti Saari 029 551 3401, Nikander Timo 029 551 3250, info@stat.fi

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma

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Updated 18.12.2017

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Migration [e-publication].
ISSN=1797-6782. Annual Review 2016. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 22.5.2018].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/muutl/2016/02/muutl_2016_02_2017-12-18_tie_001_en.html

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