A forecast that will be published Monday by Statistics Finland sees the immigrant population of Helsinki and its surroundings rising by over 131% in two decades to around 300,000 from 130,000, reports YLE in English, citing Swedish-language daily Hufvustadsbladet.
Writes Yle in English: “Most non-Finnish speakers come to Finland and the Helsinki region from Africa and the Middle East. The forecast indicates most of them reside in Helsinki. Those arriving from Asia tend to move into Espoo while those from Russia prefer to live in Vantaa.”
If the population of Helsinki and surroundings will rise in the next twenty years, Finland’s total immigrant population will see strong growth as well from the present 257,248 persons (4.8% of the population). Helsinki has the highest share of immigrants today (11.8%), followed by Vantaa (11.2%) and Espoo (10.5%).
If these forecasts are reliable, Finland will be a very different country this century when compared with the last, when it was predominantly white.
As more immigrants move to Finland, it’ll be harder to deny these newcomers and their children their rights and their neighborhoods.
If we compare the over 1.2 million Finns that emigrated from this country between 1860 and 1999, some of them even founded ethnic colonies in countries like Argentina.
Finland’s past and even present attitude of cultural diversity isn’t anything to write home about. When Vietnamese boat people came as quota refugees to Finland in the 1980s, the official policy was to pepper them throughout Finland to make sure that they’d integrate and not form ethnic neighborhoods.
This was a dreadful mistake. Assimilation (one-way integration) doesn’t work unless it’s the aim of the majority culture to divide and conquer different ethnic groups.
A very worrying sign, however, is how some Finns want to deny cultural diversity its rightful place and recognition in society by placing caps on how man children with immigrant backgrounds can attend a schoolroom.
Finland is today an ever-growing culturally diverse society.
That’s a fact. No matter how much some wish to still cover their eyes and deny it.