Age structure of population

Updated: 29 Mar 2019
Next update: 31 Mar 2020

Statistics on the structure of the population describe Finnish and foreign citizens permanently resident in Finland at the turn of the year. The data are obtained from the Population Information System of the Digital and Population Data Services Agency (The Finnish Digital Agency) according to the situation at the turn of the year.

The age structure of the population and changes in the level of the working population have a wide impact on the overall development of the economy and society. Population ageing has direct effects on growth of overall general government expenditure, the stability of general government finances and the level of the economic dependency ratio. The distortion of the dependency ratio due to ageing will increase the need to expand the working population by developing immigration policy and activating migration flows from abroad. As well as economic effects, the development of the age structure presents challenges particularly for employment trends in remote areas and for the regional distribution of dependency ratio levels.

The negative effects of the current age structure trend on the labour market and economic growth are highly significant for the funding of the welfare society. Even though the growth pressure on care and nursing expenditure resulting from population ageing depends on how healthy the elderly people of the future will be, it is very probable that pension and care expenditure will grow at the same rate as the working population ages. In covering future spending pressures, a key role will also be played by the education, labour and immigration policies of future years and their impact on the development of the employment rate and growth in the tax rate.


Population growth smallest since 1970

According to Statistics Finland's statistics on population structure, the official total population of Finland at the end of 2018 was 5,517,919. In the course of 2018, Finland’s population grew by 4,789 persons. Population growth was smallest since 1970. In the past five years, the number of persons speaking Finnish, Swedish or Sami as their native language has decreased by 36,029 persons. At the same time, the number of foreign-language speakers has increased by 102,678 persons.