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Article categories: News

Vaasa’s population grows at a record pace

Published: 1.11.2023

The year 2023 is set to be Vaasa’s strongest year of population growth in the 2000s. According to Statistics Finland’s preliminary data, Vaasa’s population has increased by as many as 892 inhabitants between January and September. The strong growth is due to immigration, which accelerated Vaasa’s population growth also last year.

The number of Vaasa residents in September was 68,880, compared to 67,988 at the end of last year. The last time growth exceeded 800 inhabitants was in 2011.

– Immigration to Finland has been at a record high in recent years. In 2023, population growth will also be significantly affected by applications for Ukrainian residency, says Jonas Nylén, Head of Real Estate.

Immigrants are mainly settling in the country’s large and growing cities. Of the medium-sized growing cities, Vaasa has the largest immigrant or foreign-language population in Finland.

This growth is also driven by Vaasa’s excellent employment situation. Vaasa’s unemployment rate was 6.9% in September. The unemployment rate in the ELY Centre Region of Ostrobothnia is the lowest in mainland Finland (6.0%).

Net migration flow positive after a long time

Vaasa’s population growth is well above the municipality-specific population projection for 2021 by Statistics Finland, which predicted +1 inhabitants for 2022–2023. Instead, the city’s population has already increased by 1 265 inhabitants in less than two years.

– Vaasa has repeatedly shown that it can grow much faster than the population projections assume. Most recently this happened during the previous growth cycle between 2002 and 2015, when the city’s population grew by around 6 400 inhabitants, says Nylén.

Net inter-municipal migration in Vaasa is also on a positive trend after a while. On the other hand, the number of newborns has not started to increase, but on the contrary, has continued to decrease.

– There are currently around 30% fewer children born in Vaasa than in the early 2010s. I find this a very worrying phenomenon, and even strong immigration has not yet managed to reverse the trend, says Nylén.

Components of Vaasa’s demographic development in 2023:

  • Net immigration: +1 025 people
  • Net inter-municipal migration: +27 people
  • Natural population increase (births – deaths): -164 people
  • Population correction: +4 people

Population change by age group:

  • 0–9-year-olds: -157 people
  • 10–14-year-olds: +59 people
  • 15–19-year-olds: +102 people
  • 20–24-year-olds: +320 people
  • 25–29-year-olds: +36 people
  • 30–39-year-olds: +166 people
  • 40–49-year-olds: +305 people
  • 50–59-year-olds: -57 people
  • 60+ -year-olds: +118 people