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Published: 26 May 2009

Household-dwelling units are increasingly small

According to Statistics Finland data, there were 2,768,000 dwellings in Finland at the end of 2008. Of these dwellings 45 per cent were one of two-room dwellings. Dwelling stock comprises also vacant dwellings and dwellings without permanent residents, such as secondary residences, temporary residences and vacant dwellings on sale or available for rent. At the end of 2008 such dwellings without permanent residents numbered some 269,000. Dwellings with permanent residents, or household-dwelling units, numbered 2,499,000. Most of them were small one or two-person household-dwelling units. Such small household-dwelling units made up 73 per cent or 1,838,000 of all household-dwelling units. More than one million of these consisted of a person living alone. Only just under one in four household-dwelling units, or 26 per cent of all household-dwelling units, housed at least three persons. The average size of a household-dwelling unit was 2.09 persons. As late as in 1970 the average size was three persons.

At the end of 2008, there were 106,000 more dwellings in blocks of flats than in detached houses. However, only one-third of the population live in blocks of flats. The explanation is that dwellings are smaller in blocks of flats so smaller families or household-dwelling units live in them than in attached or detached houses. The number of dwellings in blocks of flats has doubled since 1970. The number of dwellings in attached houses has grown more than ten-fold since 1970 when they numbered only 30,000. At the end of 2008, dwellings in attached houses numbered already 382,000.

Household-dwelling units by number of persons in 1980-2008, share of all household-dwelling units (%)

Year                 Household-     
units total
Share of one-person
units %
Share of two-person
units %
Share of household-
dwelling units with 3
or more persons %
1980 1 781 771 27,0 25,7 47,2
1990 2 036 732 31,7 29,4 38,9
2000 2 295 386 37,3 31,5 31,2
2008 2 499 332 40,6 32,9 26,4

Source: Dwelling and housing conditions 2008. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Marja Hermiö (09) 1734 3211, Elina Aspblad-Huohvanainen (09) 1734 3232,

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma


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Last updated 26.5.2009

Referencing instructions:

Statistics: Dwellings and housing conditions [e-publication].
ISSN=1798-6761. 2008. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 12.4.2024].
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