Published: 24 November 2017

Number of children with foreign background has doubled in ten years

According to Statistics Finland's data, 81,000 or 7.5 per cent of all underage children were of foreign background at the end of 2016. From 2015, the number of underage children with foreign background has grown by nearly seven thousand. In ten years, the number of children with foreign background has doubled.

Underage children with foreign background by origin

Underage children with foreign background by origin

Until 2003, there were more children with foreign background in the first generation than in the second generation, but in the following year there were slightly more children with foreign background in the second generation, 51 per cent. At the end of 2016, the share of children with foreign background in the second generation among all children with foreign background was 60 per cent. The relative share has remained unchanged since 2009, which means that the number of children with foreign background in the first generation in the population increased in relative terms at the same rate as the number of children with foreign background in the second generation.

Forty-four per cent of underage children with foreign background were under school age. Although the number of under school-age children with foreign background has grown from 21,000 to 36,000, the share has remained almost unchanged since 2011. In 2016, nearly four out of five under school-age children with foreign background were persons with foreign background in the second generation. The share has remained unchanged since 1999.

Underage children with foreign background are divided very unevenly by region. Fifty-seven per cent of all underage children with foreign background were living in Uusimaa at the end of 2016. The corresponding relative shares of other regions varied from half a per cent to nine per cent.

The shares of underage children with foreign background in the first and second generation vary by region. In 2016, the share of underage children with foreign background in the second generation was biggest in Varsinais-Suomi, where the share was 66 per cent of all children with foreign background. Correspondingly, the share of underage children with foreign background in the second generation was lowest in Kainuu, which means that Kainuu, 40 per cent, has, in relative terms, the most children with foreign background in the first generation, 60 per cent of all underage children with foreign background.


Source: Population and Justice Statistics, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Marjut Pietilšinen 029 551 2798, Timo Nikander 029 551 3250, Joonas Toivola 029 551 3355, info@stat.fi

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma

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Updated 24.11.2017

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Families [e-publication].
ISSN=1798-3231. Annual Review 2016. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 15.12.2017].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/perh/2016/02/perh_2016_02_2017-11-24_tie_001_en.html

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